A former Atlanta police officer will spend the next 5 years behind bars for beating a Walmart customer he wrongfully accused a stealing a tomato and trying to cover it up, WSB-TV reported.
Prosecutors say former Atlanta Police Department Sergeant Trevor King, 49, broke two bones in 53-year-old Tyrone Carnegay’s leg after accusing him of stealing a tomato from an Atlanta Walmart nearly three years ago. King, who was in uniform and working off-duty at the retail chain, claims he saw Carnegay weigh a tomato and walk toward the store’s exit. He then stopped Carnegay and hit him with his baton seven times.
Prosecutors say Carnegay had the receipt for the tomato in his pocket and that the officer filed a false police report alleging Carnegay assaulted him. King wrote in his report that Carnegay was asked to return the tomato by an employee and tried to force his way past him after he was confronted. He said Carnegay reached for his weapon several times, which was why he had to use his baton to beat him, according to WXIA.
“Law enforcement officers all over the country work tirelessly every day to protect the public from violence,” wrote John Gore, acting assistant attorney general of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Department in a news release. “This defendant violated the law and his oath as a police officer when he unjustifiably beat a man with a baton, breaking the man’s leg, because he wrongly believed that the man had stolen a tomato. The Department of Justice will continue to protect all citizens from violations of their constitutional right to safety and security.”