NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Norfolk police say they are investigating an incident in which an officer handcuffed an employee of a MetroPCS Mobile store, and then cited him for having too much trash out front, a misdemeanor. It was recorded on the store’s surveillance cameras as well as Alex Boxley’s phone.
Boxley was working the evening shift at the store on Granby near 27th St., when Norfolk cops rolled up on a recent Tuesday afternoon.
“(The officer) said they originally got a call about smoking and gambling,” Boxley said in a Thursday morning interview.
Several people were gathered out front, but police focused on Boxley.
“He just walked up to me as soon as I stepped outside the store, and was like, where’s your ID?”
His purple company shirt wasn’t enough.
“I told him my name was Alex and why do you need my social? Why are you asking for my information as opposed to everybody else who was already outside?”
According to Boxley, the officer went on to talk about trash in front of the store. Boxley says he then told the officer he’d go in the store and write his ID information down for him.
Surveillance video shows Boxley and the officer entering the store and Boxley entering a back room and appearing to write something on a piece of paper.
“He just busted open the door and then he grabbed me, I’m just like — what are you doing? And he said stop resisting, stop resisting!”
Boxley was able to record what happened next on his phone.
“I am allowed to be in your store,” the officer said as the two men’s faces are a short distance apart. “Why are you in my face?” Boxley asked. The officer responded, “you are being extremely disrespectful.”
“I felt like he was just being aggressive, trying to draw me to be aggressive with him,” Boxley said.
Based on the time code from the video, Boxley was in cuffs for about 10 minutes. Then he was released and cited for failing to keep the premises clean, a misdemeanor. He does not own the business.
“I just didn’t understand why he would handcuff me and go through all that aggression … over trash.”
We requested the officer’s body cam video from the June 11 incident, but Norfolk police said it was part of their investigation. Norfolk police informed us this afternoon that this is under administrative investigation.
Boxley told us he will file a formal complaint about the incident.