GLENDALE, AZ — After refusing to comment for several days, Glendale mayor Jerry Weiers has issued a statement in response to the publication of body camera video showing a Glendale police officer repeatedly tasing a passenger in a vehicle during a traffic stop in July 2017.
"I want to ensure the public that I have heard your feedback regarding the incident involving the Glendale Police Department," Weiers wrote in a statement that was handed out and read at a city council workshop on Tuesday. "I assure each of you that our top priority as a [city] council is public safety--with the expectation of transparency and accountability. I believe that it is imperative that we hold our police officers to the highest professional standards and our citizens have every right to expect nothing less." Read the full statement at the bottom of this story.
The city has faced criticism from groups and individuals since ABC15 first published the body camera video of officer Matthew Schneider on Friday. When reached for comment that day and again Monday, the mayor's office said Weiers had no comment on the matter.
"This entire incident was subject to an official, critical, comprehensive and independent review in accordance with the Arizona Police Officer Standards and Training procedures and state laws," Weiers said.
The police department's internal review found Schneider acted with "gross negligence" and found that his use of force against Johnny Wheatcroft was "unreasonable and unnecessary." Schneider was suspended without pay for 30 hours--the equivalent of three days of work.
The case was sent to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, which declined to prosecute any of the officers involved because there was not a "reasonable likelihood of conviction."
Here’s what @marcoattorney tells @abc15 about turning down case against Officer Schneider, who pulled down a handcuffed man’s shorts and tased him “in the testicles.”— Dave Biscobing (@DaveBiscobing15) February 11, 2019
Key line: “actions of officer” didn’t meet charging standards. pic.twitter.com/DdmLbL4Jm4
Citing the ongoing lawsuit filed by Wheatcroft against the city, Weiers declined to comment further on the incident or any specific details.
When approached at the same workshop, a member of the city council declined to comment.
FULL STATEMENT FROM GLENDALE MAYOR JERRY WEIERS