Officer Fired Over Video Showing Him Hitting Suspect Who Resisted Arrest
Euclid, Ohio - Mayor Kristen Holzheimer Gail announced on Friday that Officer Michael Amiott has been fired for "conduct unbecoming and courtesy" after he was recorded hitting a suspect who was resisting arrest.
A description with the video from the August 12 incident said that the suspect was an "innocent black man" who was "racially profiled on a traffic stop."
Community outrage was spurred on by the false information, and resulted in the suspension and ultimate termination of the officer.
The incident happened August 12 at around 10:30 AM on East 228th when Richard Hubbard III, 25, was stopped by Euclid police officer Michael Amiott for a traffic violation, according to Cleveland.com.
Hubbard's drivers 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 began to resist arrest. He could be seen on the dash camera video pulling his arm away form the officer.
Hubbard was taken to the ground, which is standard for actively resisting suspects. While on the ground, he continued to fight with officers.
In the video, Hubbard's girlfriend can be heard asking him to stop fighting the police.
The video showed Hubbard with his hand on Officer Amiott's waist near his gun, and the officer responded by throwing some hits to Hubbard's face. While still fighting, Hubard argued that he didn't have a gun and wasn't reaching toward his waistband.
Backup officers arrived and Hubbard was taken into custody.
Officer Amiott was almost immediately suspended after a protest formed over the video.
"It is the mission of the Euclid Police Department to provide professional and transparent service to the residents, business owners, and visitors to the City of Euclid," Lt. Mitch Houser said at the time. "This entire incident will be reviewed, in detail, so that the public can have a full and open understanding of the series of events that eventually led to this violent encounter."
Officer Amiott was treated for injuries at the hospital before being suspended.
Richard Hubbard was evaluated for minor injuries before being booked into jail. He has since bailed out.
Hubbard's attorney is requesting that charges against Hubbard be dropped
Mayor Gail said last month that she had planned to review Officer Amiott's past conduct before determining if he should be fired. He had been accused of excessive force two other times, but no formal complains were filed and only materialized after the video went viral.
"During his current disciplinary suspension from the Euclid Police Department for various rule violations, my office received further complaints regarding Amiott's professional conduct," Gail said in a statement, according to Cleveland.com .
"After a review, I found Amiott to have violated additional departmental rules, including conduct unbecoming and courtesy, calling into serious question his suitability as a Euclid police officer."
It is extremely abnormal for a Mayor to make a determination on a violation of police department policy.
The mayor said that the Euclid Police Department would not be commenting on the issue.
No information has been released which suggests that Officer Amiott's use of force was unlawful or against policy, although it is still under investigation.
You can see the videos of the incident below. (Multiple videos, scroll down for more.)