Officers pulled over the auto because of a traffic violation and discovered the driver didn't have a license, police said in a statement Friday. They had pulled into the parking lot of a Motel 6 when two Glendale police officers, Matt Schneider and Mark Lindsey, approached the auto, ostensibly for failing to signal a turn. Officers found a usable quantity of meth inside the auto in an investigation. Wheatcroft declined to show police his driver's license and questioned why he had to provide identification.
Wheatcroft, 37, was sitting with his wife, a friend, and his two young sons, aged 11 and six, in the back when the officers approached his Ford Taurus, saying they observed a seat belt violation. Two other back seat passengers were children ages 11 and 6. Even after Wheatcroft was dragged on the ground towards the back of the vehicle, his feet remained entangled in the seat belt. Wheatcroft also refused to identify himself and failed to obey instructions to stop reaching his hands beneath the seat.
The city of Glendale, Scheider, Lindsey and Officer Michael Fernandez are being sued in the U.S. District Court of Arizona for "unlawful, unnecessary, unreasonable, and excessive force, which resulted in life-altering injuries to Plaintiff Johnny Wheatcroft and his family". Officers then displayed their Tasers and warned Wheatcroft of potential Taser use. Officer Schneider then asked for additional officers to respond, and when multiple officers arrived at the scene, they tended to Officer Lindsey and helped detain Wheatcroft, as he was continuing to resist officers by kicking and screaming.More news: Police prevent French yellow vests crossing into Italy
According to the suit and the police's own admission, the officers used a "drive stun" method, in which the taser is pressed against a person before being fired. Chapman reportedly swung a bag of bottles at Lindsey's head during the incident, although this can't be seen clearly in the video. Mr. Schneider then deployed his Taser, striking Mr. Wheatcroft. Police also found methamphetamine in the vehicle.
Officials say Wheatcroft and Chapman were charged with Aggravated Assault, which Chapman pleaded guilty to. Police identified the driver, but Independent Newsmedia is not providing his name as it appears he wasn't formally charged. "The Department recognizes that society expects accountability and we hold ourselves to the highest standards set by Arizona Police Officer Standards and Training as well as state law".
Glendale Police said that a review of the officers" actions has already been performed and "discipline implemented regarding certain tactics used by one officer'.More news: Venezuela utilizing Russian banks to skirt United States oil sanctions
However, police have not publicly said what that discipline was, and are unable to comment on the situation as it is under litigation.
Horrifyingly, Schneider is next seen pulling Wheatcroft's shorts down and placing the taser on the handcuffed man's testicles. One of the officers was on leave for 30 work hours (3 days) and continues to work for the agency. It seeks damages to be determined at trial.
The charges against Wheatcroft were dismissed by the Maricopa County Attorney's Office after prosecutors saw the body camera footage themselves.More news: Subaru Legacy Debuts With Fresh Look, Big Screen