Ohio Cop Fired for Excessive Force Against a Black Man but Avoids Criminal Charges

Officer Michael Amiott was captured on video camera punching an unarmed Black man more than a dozen times during what should have been a routine traffic stop outside of Cleveland. Dashcam video showed Amiott wrestling 25-year-old Richard Hubbard III to the ground August 12th within seconds of ordering him to “face away.”

Amiott was suspended for 45 days following the incident only to be fired 2 days before his suspension ended citing additional complaints received while on suspension. Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail said, “After a review, I found Amiott to have violated additional departmental rules, … calling into serious question his suitability as a Euclid Police Officer.”

Hubbard is facing charges of resisting arrest and driving with a suspended license from the incident but his lawyer, Christopher McNeal, is hoping that the charges will be dismissed after the dismissal of the officer.

“Today’s a victory not only for my client, but for police accountability,” said attorney Christopher McNeal. “Bad cops not only endanger citizens and abuse constitutional rights, they also impugn the badge that every officer wears and undermines the credibility of the entire legal system.”

US News documented the incident stating:

The video shows Amiott then punching Hubbard multiple times in the head as Hubbard raises his arms. Amiott said in a police report that Hubbard was “resisting in a violent manner”. Hubbard has said that he did not resist arrest, and that he held up his hands to deflect Amiott’s punches. Some of the punches came after it appeared that Hubbard had spread his arms out while passively lying on his stomach.

After Amiott handcuffed Hubbard, Amiott requested an ambulance and was advised to go to a hospital. Documents show that Hubbard requested treatment for his injuries twice but was told he didn’t need to be hospitalized and was jailed.

Amiott violated police protocol by failing to inform Hubbard that he was under arrest prior to grabbing him according to documents related to the incident. Video and records show Amiott and Hubbard were tussling when Amiott’s partner shocked them both with a stun gun, sending them falling to the ground.

Cell phone video of the altercation was posted to Facebook and sparked nationwide outrage and stoked the flames of racial tension already at a boil in a city that is predominantly Black.

According to reports, Amiott received four letters of reprimand and one formal citizen complaint as a Euclid officer but was never disciplined beyond written citations. He was cited for pistol-whipping a driver with a handgun, mishandling evidence, losing his temper in front of his commanding officer and being involved in two crashes in police vehicles.

Amiott had earlier been allowed to resign rather than be fired from another suburban Cleveland department in April 2014 for lying to other officers about why he stopped a man for a suspended license. He was hired in Euclid five months later.