County attorney asks FBI to review Glendale PD stun gun incident
Feb 13, 2019, 3:49 PM | Updated: Feb 14, 2019, 6:00 am
PHOENIX – The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office said Wednesday it sent materials about a 2017 stun gun incident involving the Glendale Police Department to the FBI for further review.
The FBI said in an email to KTAR News 92.3 FM, “Our policy prohibits confirming investigations but as a general matter we examine the facts with consideration of federal criminal statutes.
“When appropriate, the facts of an incident will be forwarded for judicial consideration. Prosecutors decide whether or not to pursue criminal charges.”
Meanwhile, the city of Glendale said Johnny Wheatcroft, the man who allegedly was shocked 11 times during a traffic stop, sought “an absurd” $15 million settlement last year.
The incident came to light last week when disturbing body camera video was made public.
“After having personally reviewed all available video evidence, I have determined further investigation is warranted,” Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said in a press release.
“In order to ensure the public’s confidence in any future determination of whether the use of force was lawful, review by an uninvolved agency is appropriate.”
Earlier in the day, Gov. Doug Ducey said he’d like to see the case reopened.
Several hours after Montgomery’s announcement, Glendale issued a press release offering new details about the July 26, 2017, traffic stop.
“In December 2018, prior to the plaintiff shopping their story to the media, they offered to settle with the city for the absurd amount of $15 million,” the release said.
“Glendale’s fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers of Glendale has limited our ability to engage on the specifics of this incident and we are unwilling to litigate it in the media.”
The release also said the city was in discussions with the FBI on Monday, before Ducey told reporters it seemed “the investigation was whitewashed” and “I’d love to see the county attorney’s office reopen the investigation.”
Wheatcroft, 37, filed a lawsuit in July 2018 against the city and three Glendale police officers for using excessive force. There was no monetary figure included in the court documents.
His attorney, Marc Victor, told ABC15 on Tuesday that Montgomery “personally told him” that his office would review the case.
Maricopa County Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Amanda Steele told KTAR News 92.3 FM in an email Tuesday that prosecutors initially reviewed evidence in the case when it was first submitted and “determined there was no likelihood of conviction due to the totality of the events leading to the arrest.”
They also determined “at that time the actions of the officer also did not meet the charging standard of reasonable likelihood of conviction,” Steele said.
Also Tuesday, Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers issued a statement saying an initial review after the incident “resulted in disciplinary actions for one officer regarding certain tactics of this complicated event.”