WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Dramatic footage is released of a D.C. police officer assaulting an employee at a store in Northeast D.C. because the employee allegedly made a sarcastic remark at the officer.
The officer, Clinton Turner, 42, pleaded guilty to simple assault earlier this week in connection with the 2011 incident.
Turner is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 1. The offence carries a maximum 180 day jail sentence.
It all took place at the downtown Locker Room store at Minnesota and Benning northeast on January 20, 2011.
Store clerk Daniel Fox and the officers, who were seated in the store, were friendly at first. Then something happened. Fox became angry, gestured at the officers, walked away and sat down near the register.
Turner followed him, and according to court documents, said, "don't let us get you locked up on your birthday.”
Fox replied, “why.”
“Say something else and will be locked up,” the officer said.
Fox, sarcastically said "something else."
Turner grabbed the clerk and started beating him, authorities say and the video shows. Court records say he pulled out clumps of his hair and put him in a choke hold and arrested him for assault.
The problem for the officer is that when authorities viewed the surveillance video, they charged him with assault. And after the beating, the video shows Officer Turner lecturing Fox.
"He could have talked to him in a more calm manner. Violence should never have been used in that manner," says D.C. resident, De-An Owen.
Initially, Turner’s partner was also charged but those charges were later dropped.
The defense attorney for Turner, James Rudasill, said: "It's very unusual for a police officer to be charged when there's not substantial injuries or injures requiring hospitalization."
But as U.S. Attorney Ron Machen insisted in an issued statement: "Police officers have a difficult job. When the few cross that line, they will be held accountable. As the judge found in this case, there was no justification for Officer Turner's actions."