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FBI to decide Glendale officer Matthew Schneider's fate in 'near future'

Posted: 3:01 PM, Dec 17, 2019
Updated: 2019-12-17 21:01:56-05
Officer Matthew Schneider Glendale PD Abuse of Force

Federal criminal investigators will soon decide the fate of a Glendale police officer who kicked and tasered a handcuffed man in the groin, according to a newly-filed court motion.

On December 16th, attorneys for Matthew Schneider also told a judge that the court should assume the United States Department of Justice and the FBI will criminally charge the officer.

FULL COVERAGE: ABUSE OF FORCE

“The parties understand that the criminal investigation is still ongoing and it is anticipated that a charging determination will be made in the near future,” wrote Joseph Popolizio, one of Schneider’s attorneys. “Accordingly, for the purpose of this Motion, Officer Schneider’s counsel and the court should presume that Officer Schneider will face criminal charges arising out of the same underlying incident as this civil proceeding.”

Schneider’s attorneys filed the motion hoping to delay the officer’s December 20th deposition in a case brought by Johnny Wheatcroft.

The officer's deposition has been repeatedly rescheduled by Schneider's attorneys, court records show.

In July 2017, Schneider and other officers repeatedly tasered Wheatcroft, who was the passenger in a vehicle stopped for an alleged blinker violation.

In front of his two children, Wheatcroft was tasered nearly a dozen times. Schneider delivered the final tase to a handcuffed Wheatcroft by pulling down his shorts and stunning him in the testicles, according to body camera video and his lawsuit.

Surveillance video obtained by ABC15 also showed that Schneider likely lied about witnessing the alleged blinker violation, experts said.

The FBI launched a criminal investigation the business day after ABC15 publicly revealed video of Wheatcroft’s stop, internal emails show.

Multiple independent law enforcement experts, who reviewed the incident, said Schneider’s conduct was unlawful and one of the most cruel and troubling cases of police misconduct they’ve ever seen.

But after an internal investigation, Glendale suspended Schneider for three days.

The officer, who is one of Glendale’s top arrest leaders, has been suspended or disciplined by the city at least six times, according to his personnel file.

The issues range from excessive force in the Wheatcroft incident to persistent workplace harassment against a female officer in his unit.

Contact ABC15 Investigator Dave Biscobing at dave@abc15.com.