D.C. police officer guilty of assault for use of excessive force during 2011 arrest

October 16, 2013

A D.C. police officer was convicted of assault Wednesday in D.C. Superior court for a January 2011 use of excessive force during an arrest at a Northeast Washington store.

Officer Clinton Turner, 42, was found guilty of simple assault by Judge Robert E. Morin for incident inside the Downtown Locker Room store in the 3900 block of Minnesota Avenue on Jan. 20, 2011 while he was on duty.

Prosecutors said Turner, who was a patrol officer working in the 6th District, exchanged words with a store employee and the employee then walked away from the argument. Turner followed and kept telling the employee “don’t let us get you locked up on your birthday,” prosecutors said.

The victim asked why he would be arrested for being at work doing his job and the officer warned that if he said “something else” he would be arrested, according to prosecutors. The employee sarcastically said “something else” and Turner grabbed the victim and slammed him into a display wall.

Turner then took the victim to the ground by pulling his hair, pulling out clumps of hair, and put him into a choke-hold, prosecutors said.

He is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 1 on the misdemeanor charge which is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

A D.C. police spokeswoman said Turner joined in the department in 2004 and is on non-contact status.

Clarence Williams is the night police reporter for The Washington Post and has spent the better part of 13 years standing next to crime scene tape, riding in police cars or waking officials in the middle of night to gather information about breaking news in and around Washington.
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