The Johnny Wheatcroft Case

Criminal charges filed against former Glendale cop who tased man 11 times

Officer Matthew Schneider has been criminally charged with aggravated assault for using excessive force against Johnny Wheatcroft in 2017.

An Arizona man did nothing to provoke repeated shocks with a stun gun during a 2017 traffic stop, said an attorney representing the man in an excessive force lawsuit.

Attorney Marc Victor said that Johnny Wheatcroft was compliant and it was “egregious” that police in Glendale did nothing to stop the abuse. The lawyer spoke out a day after posting body camera footage from the encounter online.

Wheatcroft, 39, was seated next to a friend who was driving to a motel on July 26, 2017, when police stopped them. Wheatcroft’s wife, Anya Chapman, was in the backseat with the couple’s two children.

Officers pulled over the car because of a traffic violation and discovered the driver didn’t have a license, according to police. Wheatcroft declined to show police his driver’s license and questioned why he had to provide identification.

The body camera footage posted by The Attorneys For Freedom Law Firm, and previously obtained by ABC15, shows the incident quickly escalated with an officer pinning Wheatcroft’s right arm back. According to police, Wheatcroft had reached down below his seat into a backpack. Wheatcroft “continued to argue, yell and physically resist the officers’ control holds,” according to a police statement. But clearly, from watching the video, this was not the case.

The video shows officers used a stun gun several times after Wheatcroft questioned having to provide identification. Victor has said his client was shocked 11 times. Chapman and a child in the backseat immediately start to scream. The child asks, “Daddy, are you OK?”

An officer says Chapman then hit another officer in the head. Surveillance video released by police on Friday shows an officer getting hit in the face by a bag.

Victor posted a video of that injured officer, Mark Lindsey, being interviewed by police in a hospital. Victor says it shows the officer laughing off the incident. The seven-minute video begins with someone asking Lindsey what happened and the injured officer laughing while sitting up in a hospital bed.

Dr. Jeffeory Hynes, Ed.D., Law Enforcement Policies and Procedures Use of Force Expert, noted within his conclusion:

“Based upon my 32-year law enforcement career, my education, and academic background I have found that specifically Officer Schneider, along with Officers Lindsey, Fernandez and the other officers present at this abusive detention and arrest of Mr. Wheatcroft were egregious, excessive and their actions were not based on the Use of Force and Types of Resistance Policy, within the Glendale Police Department General Orders 23.000 and it’s subsections.

Seeing Mr. Wheatcroft, being pulled violently from the passenger seat and Tased repeatedly for not producing identification, while still physically restrained by his entangled seatbelt, and in front of his family, clearly shows the excessive Use of Force used against him. Being Tased 11-times and the disgrace of being openly Tased in the genital area, as his shorts were pulled down during this invalid arrest was professionally unsettling. The screaming and hysterical crying of Mr. Wheatcroft’s children, wife and friend who witnessed these abusive police actions could be emotionally impacting for years to come for Mr. Wheatcroft and his family that watched this abuse.”

The expert report and Dr Hynes was a substantial assist in getting the charges dismissed against and resulted in a positive civil judgement against the Glendale Police Department and these officers involved in this incident.

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