A crowd of protesters gathered at Glendale Police Headquarters in Glendale, Arizona on Monday. The group was there to protest against police brutality. The protest is in response to a recent video release showing the aggressive tasing of Johnny Wheatcroft during a July 2016 traffic stop.
During the traffic stop, it was discovered that the vehicle’s driver didn’t have a license. Since Wheatcroft was in the front seat, Officers Matt Schneider and Mark Lindsey asked Wheatcroft to identify himself. He refused to do so.
The officers said that Wheatcroft was reaching both under the seat and around the center console. They then attempted to remove Wheatcroft from the vehicle, who resisted their attempts. Wheatcroft claims the officers’ claims are untrue, saying he was compliant and did not offer resistance.
Once Wheatcroft was removed and handcuffed, he was summarily and repeatedely tased by Officer Schneider. Wheatcroft claims to have been kicked in the testicles, as well as having his shorts pulled down and being tased in the testicles. Wheatcroft’s attorneys allege that Wheatcroft was tased no less than 11 times during the incident.
After he was arrested, Wheatcroft proceeded to spend the next two months in jail for charges of aggravated assault and resisting arrest. The prosecutor eventually requested the charges be dropped and Wheatcroft was released from jail.
Wheatcroft asserts, through his attorneys, that he and is family were traumatized by the events. Wheatcroft’s wife Anya was in the back seat of the vehicle with their two children. According to his attorneys, Wheatcroft was under no legal requirement to produce ID, despite what he was told by the officers involved.
Body cam footage has been released that shows the incident as it happened. Wheatcroft alleges that what was done to him was tantamount to torture. Not only has body cam footage been supplied for the case, but also footage from a nearby surveillance camera. Marc Victor, Wheatcroft’s attorney, believes the footage shows enough evidence to win Wheatcroft’s lawsuit.
Wheatcroft seeks compensation for the incident, but also wants justice in regard to Officer Schneider. The lawsuit also demands that Schneider be fired from the Glendale Police Department, and that he be arrested for assault.
The rally drew dozens of protestors after a news release about the rally was put out. “Arizonans of all walks of life are asking that people remain vigilant and engage in an active role to combat the militarization of police, abuses of power, and violations of human rights here in our state in 2019 and beyond.”