Euclid, OH – A Euclid police officer who got his job back after being fired for delivering body strikes during a fight with a combative suspect has been charged with multiple offenses in connection with that altercation.
One year later, an arbitrator ruled that the city “did not have just cause to terminate” him, and also awarded him back pay, WJW reported at the time.
Officer Amiott returned to work at the Euclid Police Department (EPD), and has had no disciplinary issues since he resumed his law enforcement career, according to WJW.
He has also received additional training, and has done well since his return, according to his department.
On Tuesday, special prosecutor Dominic Vitantonio filed charges against Officer Amiott, alleging that he used “unreasonable and/or excessive force” against Hubbard back in 2017, according to court documents.
The officer faces one count of interfering with civil rights, and two counts of misdemeanor assault.
"We are aware the Special Prosecutor initiated misdemeanor criminal charges against Patrolman Amiott for the incident that occurred with Richard Hubbard in August of 2017,” the EPD said in a statement to WJW.
"In light of the charges, Patrolman Amiott is being assigned to administrative duties during the pendency of the matter,” the statement continued. "We have no additional comment on the pending case."
The Euclid Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) released a statement defending Officer Amiott, and noted that he did nothing more than what was necessary to protect himself and to subdue and apprehend the combative suspect.
“Officer Amiott was attempting to effect a lawful arrest and the suspect resisted,” the FOP said. “Officer Amiott, who was injured in the encounter, took the measures that he reasonably believed to be necessary to effect the arrest and protect himself from further harm.”
The incident occurred just before 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 12, 2017, when Euclid police stopped Hubbard for a traffic violation, according to WKYC.
Hubbard’s driver’s license was suspended and officers ordered him out of his vehicle so that he could be placed under arrest.
After stepping out of the car, Hubbard pulled his arm away from the officer and began to resist arrest, dashcam footage showed.
Cell phone footage, which did not capture the events that led up to the fight, showed officers as they struggled with Hubbard in the roadway.
The officers tried to pin the combative man face-down on the pavement, but Hubbard was able to roll onto his back, the video showed.
The video showed Hubbard with his hand on one officer’s waist near his gun, and Officer Amiott responded by throwing some hits to Hubbard’s face. While still fighting, Hubbard argued that he didn’t have a gun and that he wasn’t reaching toward his waistband.
The officers were able to pin Hubbard’s left arm to the ground, but as they began to roll him onto his stomach, Hubbard pulled his arm back towards himself.
Officer Amiott delivered several more strikes to the suspect’s face and head, and was able to gain control of Hubbard’s right wrist a moment later.
Additional officers arrived at the scene and helped to hold the suspect face-down until he was secured in handcuffs.
A woman seen screaming at the officers throughout the video was also placed in handcuffs.
Hubbard was charged with driving on a suspended license and resisting arrest, WJW reported. He was evaluated for bruising before being booked.
He showed up to court wearing a neck brace, and the charges against him were later dropped.
Officer Amiott was initially suspended for 15 days by the department for excessive use of force, and another 30-day suspension was later added, WKYC reported.
On Oct. 13, 2017, Gail announced that she had received “further complaints regarding Amiott’s professional conduct,” and fired him altogether, according to WKYC.
Officer Amiott was hired by the EPD in 2014, after having “struggled” to “meet department standards” during his time at the Mentor Police Department (MPD), Mentor Police Chief Kevin Knight told WKYC.
Chief Knight said the officer “separated” from the MPD after less than a year.
During his time with the EPD, Officer Amiott was also accused of using excessive force against a 16-year-old girl and a Euclid city worker, WKYC reported.
According to WJW, the arbitrator determined that the city failed to use a gradual increase in discipline with Officer Amiott in the wake of Hubbard’s arrest.
The arbitrator upheld Officer Amiott’s removal from the department’s SWAT team, and ordered that he undergo 80 hours of use-of-force training.
Gail said she was disappointed to learn of the arbitrator’s ruling, but said she would not appeal the decision.
"Policing has to be effective and perceived to be effective by all members of the community,” the mayor said, according to WJW. “Our goal remains to continuously upgrade and improve the Euclid Police Department."
"Since Patrolman Amiott’s termination in October 2017, the EPD implemented new programs such as the use of force review committee; enhanced training in areas such as community relations, de-escalation techniques, procedural justice, implicit bias; and increased proactive community engagement efforts,” she added.
Hubbard’s attorney, Christopher McNeal, blasted the arbitrator’s decision and has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city on his client’s behalf.
“These bad police officers not only threaten minority communities, but they impugn the integrity of the badge,” McNeal railed.
"The mayor of Euclid took decisive action and expelled this roguish, unfit police officer and yet here we are with these unelected officials, these sycophant bootlickers, who are the enemies of justice,” he added, according to WKYC.
"I just want justice,” Hubbard said. “A charge, jail time or something for real because this ain’t gonna work.”
“It’s just crazy, how, like, how can you go through the whole the whole process and just fire an officer and give him his job back?” he told WJW.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) issued a travel warning for the city of Euclid as news of Officer Amiott’s reinstatement spread, WKYC reported.
You can watch the Euclid officers’ encounter with Hubbard in the dash camera and cell phone videos below. NOTE: Multiple videos, scroll down for more: