HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A former METRO police officer was sentenced to 30 days in jail and two years of probation on Thursday.
In September 2016, Jairus Warren was indicted by a grand jury and charged with assault.
Surveillance video showed Warren striking Darrell Giles with a baton while he was sleeping at the Burnett METRO station.
Days after the incident, Warren resigned from the METRO Police Department.
Warren chose not to say anything before he was sentenced, but instead, have his attorney, Andy Taylor, speak for him.
"He (Warren) was placed in a situation, put into fight or flight mode," Taylor said to a judge.
Taylor called Warren's actions "justified."
"It wasn't a moment of anger. It was a moment where Warren had to make a split decision," said Taylor.
He also said that Warren wasn't an officer long enough to know how to handle the incident properly.
"This was an error in judgement," said Taylor. "Sending him to jail sends the wrong message to the law enforcement community."
"When you wear that METRO uniform, you carry a lot of responsibility," the judge told Warren. "You represent law enforcement across the country."
The judge also said that Warren should have shown better judgment. He called what happened "one of the most heinous acts" that he's ever seen in his courtroom.
"The actions in the video showed you were a bully, a gangster," the judge said. "That's the stuff I used to do. I used to deal within the hood."
Warren's attorney appealed the punishment, which means the sentencing is frozen.
Warren is out of jail on bond. He left the courtroom surrounded by family members.
The judge is now reviewing the defense's motion for a new trial.
"None of the stuff that happened here today is what we wanted," said Gavin Ellis, the Harris County Assistant Defense Attorney. "We do not want to have to deal with situations where police officers are being convicted of crimes. This is a sad situation, a hard situation all around."
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