Former Atlanta Police Sargent Trevor King Convicted On Federal Charges of Using Excessive Force

Tyrone Carnegay (Photo credit: WSBTV

On October 13, 2014, a Walmart customer in Atlanta, Georgia was attacked by a security guard, accused of shoplifting.  The security officer was 48-year old, off-duty Atlanta police Sargent Trevor King.

King used his department issued expandable baton hitting the customer multiple times, breaking the customer’s leg in two places.  King alleged to seeing the customer, 53-year old Tyrone Carnegay, weigh a tomato then try to exit the store without paying.  However, Tyrone had a receipt for the tomato in the bag.

In April 2016, Tyrone filed a lawsuit. His attorney, Craig Jones, told the NY Daily News:

“He got whacked seven or eight times across the shin and actually broke both bones, both the fibula and the tibula,” Carnegay’s lawyer, Craig Jones, told the Daily News. “This tomato not only cost him the dollar they overcharged him. It also cost him over $75,000 in medical bills, which I intend to get them to pay many times over.”

The lawsuit names Walmart, King and another employee as defendants.

Tyrone was chained to his hospital bed.  The broken leg wasn’t his only injury.  He also suffered a ruptured artery that later oozed blood out of his cast.

Because of the cost of the tomato, Tyrone believed that he was overcharged, and after paying for it, returned to the produce section and checked the price on a scale.  He went back in line to challenge the cost, but then decided not to and left the line.  A security employee alerted King who assumed that Tyrone was leaving the store without paying for the tomato.  Tyrone had actually bought $20 worth of items in the store.

After the lawsuit was filed, the Atlanta Police Department opened an investigation.

In December 2016, a federal grand jury indicted King for violating Tyrone’s civil rights by using excessive force.  The indictment was announced by then Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division, and U.S. Attorney John Horn of the Northern District of Georgia.   The Atlanta Police Department placed King on paid administrative leave.  He has since retired.  King was put on paid administrative leave.  In January 2017, King retired.

In July 2017, King went to trial.  His attorney argued that Tyrone might have exchanged the tomato he paid for with a larger tomato.  The jury deadlocked.  CBS reports that the hung jury was 8 to 4 in favor of an acquittal.   The government retried King,

On Friday, December 8, 2017, the DOJ announced that the jury in the retrial convicted former Atlanta Police Department Sergeant Trevor King, of using unreasonable force when he arrested a Walmart shopper who the officer wrongfully suspected of shoplifting a tomato.  The jury also convicted King of writing a false incident report in an attempt to cover up his wrongdoing.

To cover-up his unjustified assault, King wrote a false report and charged the victim with obstructing a shoplifting investigation and with assaulting a police officer.   Surveillance camera in Walmart is contrary to King’s report.

Following emergency surgery, the victim, Tyrone Carnegay,  was transported to the Fulton County Jail to be held 3 days on King’s bogus charges.  The victim’s criminal charges were ultimately dismissed by a state prosecutor a year after the incident.


“It is extremely disheartening when a law enforcement officer abuses his or her authority and the public’s trust,” said David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The actions of this officer are especially insulting to the vast majority of those in law enforcement who work so hard with integrity and commitment within the criminal justice system. The FBI will continue to dedicate significant resources to investigate allegations of public corruption involving police officers.”

I was not able to find any reports on when King will be sentenced.


On May 8, 2018,  the Atlanta Journal reported that Trevor King was sentenced to five years in prison.



Posted on 12/09/2017, in Cases, Trial Videos, Tyrone Carnegay and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. yahtzeebutterfly

    So awful to see the horrible and unjustified beating of an innocent person. The officer should have asked for a receipt and not lost his cool and professionalism in the manner he did. And, then to lie about it, knowing full well there are store surveillance cameras everywhere! (Lying is a sign of guilt.)

    Thanks for reporting on this case, Xena.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Regarding the store surveillance cameras, it took a news agency to get them.

      The victim, Tyrone, did not file the lawsuit until almost two years after the incident, and one year after the charges against him were dismissed. The Atlanta Police Dept.conducted no investigation until the lawsuit was filed.

      Based on the city and state, Tyrone’s age, recovering from the injuries he suffered and having to prove himself innocent against the criminal charges, I can speculate on why it took him so long to finally get an attorney to represent him and get the ball rolling.

      And yeah, you are right. King’s lying was a sign of his guilt. We can say the same for Slager but his defense was what he “thought” when the video clearly showed what he did was shoot a running man in the back then plant the taser beside him.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I think sometimes the brutal offender knows there are cameras everywhere but count on the public’s sympathy for their ‘hard jobs’ to excuse almost any behavior that is recorded. Look at the Daniel Shaver case. And Sam Dubose. And too too many others.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “The jury deadlocked. CBS reports that the hung jury was 8 to 4 in favor of an acquittal. The government retried King,”

    Jebus! What is it going to take for juries to stop siding with brutal LEOs?


    • Mindyme,
      To answer your question, it’s going to take two things. The first is that prosecutors are going to need to defend victims and remind juries that there is a rule of law that provides constitutional rights to everyone, even victims, and the death penalty does not apply to whatever the crime the officer assumed the victim had committed. It’s going to take prosecutors to defend victims by asking questions of defense witnesses that removes the taint and speculation of the defense. It’s going to take prosecutors to prove abuse of discretion to assaults and/or killings that are not disputed; because beyond a reasonable doubt is already established.

      It’s been awhile, but you might remember Michael Dunn’s retrial. John Guy’s rebuttal in closing argument began with a statement of saying that if you really want to know what a person is thinking, that their actions speak louder than words. Then, he went through Dunn’s actions after he murdered Jordan Davis. Thus, during closing argument, it’s going to take prosecutors to tell the jury the assumptions used that caused the engagement and the lies told by officers in their reports.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. These kinds of cases are not acts of Police Work
    but Criminal acts of Torcher, Brutality & Bullying to say the least.


  4. I’m appalled. The comments already expressed most of what I might say. These men, in a law enforcement type of job quickly get used to the idea that they won’t be held accountable, because it is what they see happen to everyone else who gets away with the atrocities they commit. These men don’t see that they are doing anything wrong. They have the right to abuse. Society lets them. Although the subject of sexual abuse and harassment by men is different, it still falls in line with what they think is acceptable behavior. Expecting people in power to honestly think about what they do – before they do it, will be hard. Apologies after the fact, or lawsuits doesn’t make up for the personal damage it causes. It doesn’t go away when you have been hurt. This was probably not the first time this security guard had done something comparable. Whipping out his baton and repeatedly hitting a person who had to be screaming by then probably fueled his excitement so he kept hitting him – over a tomato. He could have asked to see a receipt – but no, that isn’t much fun – so he hit first. The fact that he had to be tried a second time and people were letting him off the hook shows you how deep the disease goes.


    • SonniQ,
      After following so many cases, it seems to me that some in LE prey upon those they construe to be vulnerable. That might be gender, age, physical size, education, financial status, disabled. They pile everything possible of them so victims are not only concentrating on redressing the wrong, but healing, and defending themselves against false charges. Then we wonder why more and more people are suffering from stress related illnesses, physically and mentally. This nation is making its citizens ill.


  5. If we don’t change our direction it will only get worst not better.


    • I’ve watched things get worst. I hope for better. The hypocrisy is when armed individuals shoot at law enforcement and they are taken into custody alive, while unarmed individuals are perceived as “threats”, objects, that deserve being killed, or in the subject case, having their bones broken. I read stories in other countries where people have limps chopped off or crushed for stealing food, but never thought that in America we would see a man having his legs broken over a tomato — a tomato that he actually purchased.


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