Almost four years after the incident, local and federal prosecutors have yet to make charging decisions in separate criminal investigations against a Glendale officer accused of tasering a handcuffed man in the groin and lying about the nature of the traffic stop.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office both told ABC15 their individual cases against former Glendale police officer Matthew Schneider remain under review.
In February 2019, ABC15 exposed body camera video of the disturbing July 2017 incident involving Glendale officers repeatedly tasering Johnny Wheatcroft.
Wheatcroft was a passenger in a car stopped for an alleged blinker violation that Schneider made up, according to surveillance video and records.
The troubling incident immediately drew national attention and outrage.
On the business day after ABC15’s initial report, the FBI opened a criminal investigation into the matter, which was later submitted to federal prosecutors for review.
A charging decision at the federal level has been pending for more than a year.
A spokesperson for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office also said their case is still under review.
“Serious investigations require significant resources and staff time. When we review any case, it’s always more important to get it right than get it done fast. This case is still an ongoing matter. We cannot comment further at this time,” the spokesperson wrote in an emailed statement.
The AG’s Office was forwarded the case last June by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.
Under former County Attorney Bill Montgomery, the office declined to file charges against Schneider in 2017.
Once the FBI opened the 2019 investigation, an MCAO spokesperson said federal agents asked the office if it would re-evaluate the case for state-level charges.
In 2020, the newly-appointed county attorney, Allister Adel, declared a conflict and had the case sent to the AG’s Office.
A spokesperson said Schneider had once coached Adel’s sons in little league.
Schneider retired under an accidental disability claim following ABC15’s reports. He also forfeited his certification to work as a police officer in Arizona.
A civil lawsuit against the City of Glendale is still ongoing.
Contact ABC15 Investigator Dave Biscobing at Dave@abc15.com.