Two Kansas City, Kansas, police officers have been disciplined and a charge has been dropped against a man held down at a Walmart last week, in an incident captured on video.
A man said his 24-year-old nephew was taken to the ground and held down by officers after he was accused of stealing a pizza Thursday, and video of him being pinned down was posted on TikTok.
The Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department said its review found officers made mistakes — including one who “employed techniques that are not approved, nor trained, by the Department.”
Police spokesperson Nancy Chartrand said the technique involved one officer’s placement of his knee on the neck area of the person being restrained, which is seen on the video.
The man who was apprehended was walking to the exit with his purchase, which was not in a bag. The man did not show his receipt to an off-duty officer at the store who asked for it and “became belligerent,” the department said.
“It is our determination that the officer should have disengaged at that time due to the circumstances,” the police department said in a statement Monday.
The video, recorded by the man’s uncle, shows the interaction after the man is already on the ground and is being held down by an officer.
It shows the man being held down telling officers he has the receipt and to read it.
People standing around can be heard telling officers that the man had a receipt and that he had been next to them in line paying.
The man’s uncle has said that his nephew is innocent and that police didn’t have just cause for their actions.
A charge of hindering an investigation was dismissed at the police department’s request, it said.
“Moving forward, we will work with all our retail partners to ensure that there is a clear, mutual understanding of our officers role while working in any off-duty capacity,” police said Monday.
The police department has said it began investigating the incident before the video was posted online.
The off-duty officer and another officer have been disciplined and will undergo further training, police said.
The names of the officers and the discipline weren’t disclosed. Chartrand said personnel issues are protected by Kansas law.
The off-duty officer was working at the store in a security role, Chartrand said.
Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.