A suburban Cleveland officer who was fired last year after video surfaced of him beating a black motorist during a traffic stop will be reinstated after an arbitrator ruled in his favor.
Euclid officer Michael Amiott, who is white, was first suspended for 45 days after a police dash camera captured him punching the driver in an August 12, 2017, traffic stop. Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail announced Amiott’s firing in October 2017, citing police department rules violations and “additional complaints.”
Amiott will be assigned to a division to be determined by the department’s chief within two weeks, according to the terms of the decision reached Monday.
As part of the conditions of his reinstatement, Amiott must also be placed with a field training officer who will “mentor, monitor and document his performance for 60 days,” the city said. Amiott also must “complete 80 hours of training related to force options and human relations” in 12 months.
Gail said in a press release she was disappointed with the decision and believed Amiott’s termination was warranted.
“I will ensure that Patrolman Amiott is monitored and he is compliant with these conditions,” she said.
The Euclid Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 18, which appealed the firing, could not be immediately reached.
According to a police report, the motorist, Richard Hubbard III, was pulled over for driving without using signals and also accused of driving with a suspended license. When Amiott opened the car door and ordered the driver out, Hubbard got out and tried to walk away.
A struggle ensued between the two men and a second officer tried to subdue Hubbard. The second officer used a stun gun on Hubbard — but also accidentally hit his partner with the stun gun, the report said. Hubbard yelled several racist slurs at the officers, the report said.
The video shows Amiott and another officer trying to handcuff Hubbard and punching him repeatedly. Hubbard appears to continually resist arrest.
Hubbard’s girlfriend, the female passenger in the video, slaps the ground as she screams at Hubbard to stop resisting. He does not.
“Bae, stop! Bae, listen to me,” Tirado Caraballo says repeatedly.
The officers are heard repeatedly yelling, “Stop fighting.”
Hubbard is asked to roll over on his stomach. He doesn’t.
He is heard telling his girlfriend to capture the altercation on cell phone video.
“Babe, record this,” he says. “Look, they’re punching me.”
Hubbard and his passenger are also heard in the video telling the officers he does not have a gun.
Hubbard was charged with misdemeanors, including resisting officers, driving on a suspended license and a traffic infraction.
Lawyer Chris McNeal, who represented Hubbard at the time, could not be reached for comment.