Two police constables who took a handcuffed man out of the back of their car, restrained him and used an incapacitant spray on him have received warnings for misconduct.
PC Steven Morris and PC David Quayle were taking the man, who had been arrested and handcuffed for being drunk and disorderly, into custody in 2015.
A panel heard they stopped the car believing he was kicking and spitting.
Sussex Police said the panel found both PCs then used excessive force.
The independent panel in Lewes heard Crawley-based PC Morris arrested the man in Steyning on 2 January after reports he punched a driver.
He and Worthing-based PC Quayle handcuffed him and placed him in the back of a car to take him into custody in Worthing.
'Pulled from car'
The panel heard the actions of the officers after the car was stopped were disputed but they faced allegations of gross misconduct following a direction from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
Sussex Police said the panel decided the allegations were misconduct and not gross misconduct, and both officers were given written warnings.
A statement said: "PC Morris used excessive force in pulling the arrested man out of the back of the police car and restraining him on the ground while they waited for a van to convey him to custody.
"PC Quayle was found to have used excessive force in using an incapacitant spray on the arrested man."