Officers handcuffing of pawn shop employees under investigation - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Officers handcuffing of Silver Spring pawn shop employees under investigation

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SILVER SPRING, Md. -

A claim of missing phone charger ended with two Silver Spring pawn shop employees handcuffed by cops. Now the store's owner has filed a complaint with Montgomery County police saying the officers went too far.

The incident happened at Best Pawn on Wednesday. It was caught on tape. Store employee, Alexander Okosun, says two Montgomery County police officers came in to investigate a customer's theft claim.

Okosun says the officers began asking questions and asked to see his identification. He says he gladly complied, and since the shop has a long history of working with police, he also invited the officers behind the counter to see footage of the transaction in question.

Okosun says while an officer was behind the counter, he found two loaded handguns. The store manager, Edward, says it is legal for the store to have one. But Montgomery County police say a worker under the age 21 shouldn't have access. Okosun is 20 years old.

The surveillance video shows what happened next. An officer forces Okosun down, then handcuffs him. Moments later, his female co-worker is also handcuffed while attending to a customer.

Edward says he's still in shock over the incident.

"I don't quite understand how in this day and age that the officer would fear from his life from a young man who told them where the guns were," he says. "It was just horrible."

The surveillance video also shows the officers blocking the front door with a leaf blower and then unplugging the store's phones.

Okosun says he and his co-worker sat quietly on the floor handcuffed and wondering what they could have possibly done wrong.

"I've never been arrested, handcuffed, anything," says Okosun. "I don't even smoke."

Okosun says there were moments when he feared for his safety. He doesn't know why the officers behaved the way they did. He says it's an outrage and an abuse of power. He's thankful it was caught on tape.

"Video tells all," Okosun says. "Just want what's right to be right. I just want justice."

The two employees were never arrested.

Edward says he wants an apology for his employees. Montgomery County police say they are conducting an internal investigation and cannot comment on the case until it is complete.


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