Body cam video shows Glendale officers use Taser on man 11 times
PHOENIX — A routine traffic stop escalated into Glendale Police Department officers using a Taser on a man 11 times in July 2017, according to body camera footage.
Marc Victor, the lawyer representing the man shocked in the ABC15 Arizona video, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Friday that they are pursuing legal action against Glendale and three of its officers for the use of excessive force.
“The video speaks for itself,” Victor said. “I think anyone who sees that video probably doesn’t even need a commentary to understand what happened there.”
Johnny Wheatcroft, 37, was a passenger in a silver Ford Taurus that included his 11 and 6-year-old children when the car was pulled over in a Motel 6 parking lot for an alleged turn signal violation.
The scene escalated after Wheatcroft was asked to provide identification by the officers, couldn’t provide any, then questioned the officers about why they needed to know his name.
“I’m not doing anything wrong. I’m not doing nothing,” Wheatcroft can be heard saying in the video before an officer, Matt Schneider, opened the passenger door less than two minutes after the initial contact between the two parties.
Schneider and Wheatcroft then had a brief exchange before Schneider pulled out his Taser and threatened Wheatcroft.
Schneider then grabbed Wheatcroft’s right arm and tried to subdue him, which aggravated Wheatcroft.
Schneider asked Wheatcroft to relax then was subsequently shocked by the officer.
Wheatcroft yelled out in pain as he was continually shocked for the next two minutes.
The 11th and final time Wheatcroft was shocked appeared to be in his genital area after his athletics shorts were pulled down by Schneider.
Wheatcroft’s children in the video can be heard crying and pleading with the officers to stop.
Schneider, at one point, can be heard telling Wheatcroft to “stop being a big baby.”
Glendale PD on Friday released a statement to KTAR News 92.3 FM regarding the situation. Part of the statement is below:
For the safety of themselves and those around them, including the minor children, the officers attempted to remove Mr. Wheatcroft from the vehicle so they could maintain a safe eye on him for the duration of the traffic stop as well as conduct a pat down for weapons. Mr. Wheatcroft immediately began to physically resist the officers’ attempts to escort him from the vehicle while continuing to place his hands where officers could not see them. Officers displayed their Tasers and warned him of potential Taser use to gain his compliance; however, Mr. Wheatcroft continued to argue, yell and physically resist the officers’ control holds. Due to the physical resistance from Mr. Wheatcroft, the Taser was used in a drive stun capacity in order to gain control and avoid physical injury.
Wheatcroft and another passenger, 34-year-old Anya Chapman, were both charged with aggravated assault.
Chapman struck Schneider’s partner, Mark Lindsey, in the head with a bag filled with bottled drinks and knocked him unconscious after Schneider began shocking Wheatcroft.
According to Glendale police, a review of the officers’ actions has been performed and “discipline implemented regarding certain tactics used by one officer.”
Schneider was suspended for 30 hours and remains an active duty member of the police force, according to ABC15 Arizona.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.