A former Atlanta police officer is headed to jail nearly three years after brutally beating a Walmart shopper who he falsely accused of stealing a tomato.
Trevor King, 49, was sentenced to five years in prison on Monday for attacking customer Tyrone Carnegay as he attempted to leave a Walmart Supercenter. Shocking video of the October 2014 incident shows the ex-officer, who was off-duty and working security for the retail giant at the time, hit Carnegay with his baton several times after thinking he hadn’t paid for his item.
“Before I could do anything, he started beating me,” Carnegay told local station 11Alive at the time, explaining he’d exchanged the tomato for another one after realizing the cashier had overcharged him. “He’s (King) giving a verbal command, but as he’s giving the verbal command, he’s beating the mess out of me.”
The assault left the customer with two broken bones in his leg, prosecutors say. Carnegay insisted he had paid for the tomato, a fact that was confirmed after King searched him and found a receipt for the produce in Carnegay’s bag.
In an effort to cover up his unjustified attack, prosecutors said King, who is Black, penned a false police report and charged the victim with assaulting a police officer and obstructing a shoplifting investigation. Carnegay was booked into the Fulton County Jail on bogus charges but was released after the charges were dropped.
The disgraced officer was later indicted on two federal charges in December 2017 after retiring earlier that year, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. His attorney, Odis Williams, called Monday’s sentence “heartbreaking.” Meanwhile, Carnegay couldn’t be happier.
“He got what he deserved,” he told local station WSB-TV after the sentencing. “He did me wrong.”
Carnegay said he still experiences pain from the attack, however. He and his lawyer have since filed a civil lawsuit against King.
Social justice activist Shaun King shared the story with his millions of Twitter followers and highlighted the sad truth that while police brutality cases that involve white officers rarely result in charges, much-less convictions, this Black officer was convicted and sentenced to prison.
Black cops are learning the hard lesson that they will go to prison if the mimic the brutality of their white peers.
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) May 8, 2018