GLENDALE, AZ — Glendale Police officer Matt Schneider, who’s under federal investigation for repeatedly tasing a handcuffed man, has been disciplined repeatedly by his own department in the past, including at least three suspensions and two reprimands, according to discipline files obtained by ABC15.
Schneider has been separately disciplined for using excessive force, workplace harassment, insubordination, improper destruction of a citizen’s personal property, and unbecoming conduct.
The disciplinary actions document a variety of problems dating from 2005 to late 2018.
The files also indicate there was another “significant” event, known as the “chair incident,” that the department failed to investigate fully and document in 2016, records show.
[Editor’s note: Detailed information and records about each discipline action are posted at the end of in this report]
Glendale has declined to comment further on questions involving Officer Schneider or its department’s handling of a controversial use-of-force incident that was exposed by ABC15.
The incident captured on police body camera shows Schneider and other officers repeatedly tasing passenger Johnny Wheatcroft during a traffic stop. For the final tase, Schneider pulls down Wheatcroft’s shorts and stuns him in the testicles, according to a federal lawsuit.
Schneider was suspended three days for the incident.
But multiple independent law enforcement experts called Schneider’s actions “sadistic” and said they could not believe Schneider was still employed as a police officer.
Coverage of the incident led to Governor Doug Ducey to call Glendale’s handling of the case a “whitewash” and prompted Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery to forward the case to the FBI.
Over the span of five days, police spokespeople declined to give clear answers about whether Schneider is still actively patrolling the streets or if he has been assigned to an administrative role after the FBI investigation was announced.
In a final email Monday, Officer Tiffany Ngalula wrote, “Our apologies as there is no one in the office today due to the federal holiday. Please have a wonderful President’s Day. We look forward to speaking with you later in the week.”
The following disciplinary actions and incident descriptions for Officer Matt Schneider are posted in chronological order. Click on the date to read to the documents:
Schneider is suspended for one day after he failed to follow a supervisor’s direct order. A sergeant observed Schneider opening and closing his pocket knife while sitting at his desk and told him to put it away. He did not. A co-worker was then cut severely by the knife.
Schneider is suspended for one day for ordering the destruction of a citizen’s personal property held in evidence after a case against the person was dropped by the County Attorney’s Office. *In the May 2008 and June 2008 disciplinary actions, it also lists a previous investigation for unbecoming conduct in November of 2005. No other information is provided.
Schneider is given a written reprimand for workplace harassment and creating a hostile work environment. Employees described instances of Schneider being insubordinate, bullying, and making inappropriate comments to other routinely. He was also accused of inappropriate “physical conduct” with other employees. Investigators wrote that Schneider refused to ride with certain members of the squad or respond to them. The disciplinary action also vaguely describes a “significant event” called the “Chair Incident,” that was “never fully investigated at the time as it should have been.”
Schneider is suspended for three days for his actions in the July 2017 incident involving Johnny Wheatcroft.
Contact ABC15 Investigator Dave Biscobing at firstname.lastname@example.org.