Give That Cop A Medal
2017-08-30 00:16:43 UTC
man over a dozen times in traffic stop in a Cleveland suburb has
received multiple complaints about his behavior during his three
years in the police department.
According to documents obtained by The Associated Press through
an open records request, Officer Michael Amiott received four
letters of reprimand and one formal citizen complaint as a
Euclid officer but was never disciplined beyond written
citations. He was cited for pistol-whipping a driver with a
handgun, mishandling evidence, losing his temper in front of his
commanding officer and being involved in two crashes in police
Some Euclid residents stepped forward last week to express
concern about Amiott's previous conduct. Euclid police hired
Amiott in 2014 after he resigned from his previous position in
Mentor, east of Cleveland.
Euclid police spokesman Lt. Mitch Houser and Euclid police union
president Dave Trend did not return calls and messages seeking
comment. The Euclid mayor's office declined to comment citing a
pending investigation. No one answered at two phone numbers
listed for Amiott.
Amiott, 31, has been suspended without pay for 15 days after the
violent arrest of 25-year-old Richard Hubbard III that was
captured on video Aug. 12. Police dashcam video shows Amiott
ordering Hubbard to "face away" after Hubbard steps out of his
car and then within seconds wrestling Hubbard to the ground.
Cuyahoga County prosecutor Michael O'Malley said his office has
conferred with the U.S. attorney's office and is investigating
Amiott first became a full-time police officer in July 2013 in
Mentor. He's a nephew of Richard Amiott, a former Mentor police
chief who died in May. Michael Amiott was allowed to resign
rather than be fired in April 2014 for lying to other officers
about why he stopped a man for a suspended license.
Euclid police hired Amiott five months later. Lt. Houser said
the Euclid police chief at the time, now retired, was aware of
Amiott's forced resignation when he hired him.
The cellphone video of Hubbard's arrest was viewed more than 7
million times on Facebook. It sparked outrage across the country
and has inflamed racial tensions in Euclid. Angry residents
confronted Euclid's mayor and police chief at a City Council
meeting last week.
Here are some recent incidents that have provoked controversy
about Amiott's conduct, detailed in police reports and footage
obtained by the AP:
YOUTH SOCCER COACH PEPPER SPRAY
Shawn George, 25, a Euclid soccer coach, was arrested by Amiott
on July 31 after asking questions while Amiott and two other
officers were patting down and handcuffing juveniles.
The officers were responding to a call reporting a juvenile with
a gun at a playground. They patted down two black juveniles and
handcuffed one white juvenile who had a backpack containing a BB
George confronted officers while they were detaining the
juveniles and called a lawyer, the report said. George was
ordered to leave multiple times but refused, prompting Amiott to
try to handcuff George. When George tried to livestream the
arrest with his cellphone, Amiott tossed George to the ground
and pepper sprayed him several times.
"I thought I was going to die that day," George told WKYC. "I
was treated like I was a career criminal."
George, who's black, was bruised during his arrest and charged
with obstruction and resisting arrest. He declined to comment
when approached by the AP. He's due in court Sept. 7 for a
pretrial hearing. No formal complaints or citations were filed
against Amiott over the incident.
Amiott confronted a black 16-year-old girl and two other
juveniles entering a public library around 3:30 p.m. on April
13, telling them they were barred from entering without an adult
until 4:30 pm. According to Amiott's police report, they started
horsing around by the library until he came out to order them to
leave. The 16-year-old yelled at him, using a curse word,
leading Amiott to take her to an office to write her up for
The girl pulled away and told Amiott to get off her, the report
said. Amiott handcuffed the girl and took her inside to search
for identification and weapons. When Amiott tried to open her
bag, the girl refused.
"You're not touching my bag," the girl told Amiott, as shown on
a bodycam video. Amiott then grabbed her and pulled her to the
ground. The video shows Amiott pressing his knee into the girl's
back as she lies face down on the floor, crying. The girl was
charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Her mother criticized Amiott in comments to WKYC but declined to
comment when contacted by the AP. Juvenile court records in Ohio
are sealed from public view. No formal complaints or citations
were filed against Amiott over the incident.
On April 1, Amiott pulled over a man driving to a paint store,
swore at him, slammed a car door on his leg, and threatened to
pepper spray and jail him, according to a citizen complaint
filed in April.
Christopher Spencer's complaint was ruled "not sustained" by
Euclid police. Chief Scott Meyer said there was no evidence to
prove or disprove Spencer's claim and advised him to keep a
"cool head" during police encounters.
Amiott charged Spencer with having an obstructed windshield. The
charges were later dropped. A man at an address listed for
Spencer declined to comment.