Former Atlanta Police Sergeant Trevor King was found guilty on Dec. 8 of using excessive force in an incident involving Tyrone Carnegay in April 2016.
A federal jury also found King guilty of writing up a false incident report to cover up the excessive force, notes a press release by the U.S. Department of Justice.
King reportedly accused Carnegay of stealing a tomato in a Walmart store even though Carnegay had paid for it.
Store surveillance video filmed King, who was working off-duty as a security officer, repeatedly hitting Carnegay in the leg with a baton.
Carnegay suffered two broken bones in his leg, and spent three days in jail.
King charged Carnegay with obstructing a shoplifting investigation and with assaulting a police officer, but those charges were dropped.
Acting Attorney General John Gore of the Civil Rights Department said in a statement about King:
This defendant violated the law and his oath as a police officer when he unjustifiably beat a man with a baton, breaking the man’s leg, because he wrongly believed that the man had stolen a tomato. The Department of Justice will continue to protect all citizens from violations of their constitutional right to safety and security.