[WATCH] Grand Rapids Police Hold Rifle To Handcuffed Suspects Head

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A Grand Rapids police officer who resigned during an Internal Affairs investigation had held a rifle muzzle to the head of a prone, handcuffed suspect’s head, police reports show.

The suspect, who had been tasered, was handcuffed, on the ground, when Officer Kevin Penn put the rifle against his head.

“The suspect makes a crying noise, and states, ‘That hurts bro,’ and Officer Penn immediately responds with, ‘Yes it does,'” according to an Internal Affairs report, obtained by MLive under a Freedom of Information request.

A body camera worn by Officer James Smith shows the gun against the suspect’s head.

“The muzzle is still pressed against the suspect’s head and Officer Smith tells Officer Penn, ‘All right Kevin’ and pushes the rifle away from the suspect’s head with his head. As Officer Penn moves back, the suspect continues asking what he did and states, ‘Man, that hurted man. …'”

The suspect’s only complaint appeared to center on the use of the Taser but Internal Affairs and Chief David Rahinsky found that Penn acted with unreasonable force, reports said.

Several police sources alerted Internal Affairs about Penn’s actions.

The incident occurred just before midnight on Aug. 19 in the parking lot of CVS Pharmacy at 727 28th Street SE.

Police responded to a report of an armed robbery, with the suspect possibly armed with a handgun.

Sgt. Neil Gomez and Officer Douglas Stevens first confront the suspect, who is not compliant with officers’ orders. Gomez deployed his Taser and the suspect dropped to the ground.

Penn chambers a round in the rifle and alerts others.

Smith tells the suspect to put his hands behind his back, which he does. As Smith applies handcuffs, Penn put his rifle against the suspect’s head and says, “This is a gun, if you move, you possibly could be injured, do not move, does that make sense to you?”

The suspect says yes. Penn tells him not to move as his partner finishes double-locking the handcuffs.

“The suspect is moving his head and you can see the muzzle of the rifle actually moving the skin/scalp on the suspect’s head, forcing his head down,” the Internal Affairs report said.

The officer was under investigation by Internal Affairs Unit over use of force arresting a robbery suspect.

The suspect appears compliant, the report shows. When the suspect asks what he did, Penn responds, “You didn’t listen to us.”

The suspect, a 28-year-old man, was arraigned two days later on charges of assault and resisting police, court records showed.

While the suspect’s complaints appeared to be based on being tasered, Penn should have released pressure of the rifle against the suspect’s head when he complained about pain, “not tell him, ‘Yes it does.'”

“Officer Penn’s decision to press the muzzle against the suspect’s head is not based on any training done at the Grand Rapids Police Department, or subject control principles. When taken with the comments he makes while doing so, it has the appearance of being punitive and retaliatory in nature … .”

Penn’s response to the allegations were redacted.

He was placed on administration leave on Sept. 12 pending termination but resigned six days later.

The man who reported the armed robbery told police the suspect punched him in the face, and believed he could have had a gun. No gun was seen.

The suspect said he was homeless.

He told police he had consumed two pints of vodka and was “networking’ in the CVS parking lot. When police said surveillance footage showed he assaulted someone in a vehicle, he said he only reached inside.

Police reported he was highly intoxicated.

Source: http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2017/10/ex-officer_held_rifle_muzzle_t.html