A suburban Cleveland officer who was fired last year after video surfaced of him beating a black motorist during a traffic stop will be reinstated after an arbitrator ruled in his favor.
Euclid Officer Michael Amiott, who is white, was first suspended for 45 days after a police dashcam captured him punching the driver in an August 12, 2017, traffic stop. Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail announced Amiott’s firing in October 2017, citing police department rules violations and “additional complaints.”
Amiott will be assigned to a division to be determined by the department’s chief within two weeks, according to the terms of the decision reached Monday.
As part of the conditions of his reinstatement, Amiott must be placed with a field training officer who will “mentor, monitor and document his performance for 60 days,” the city said. Amiott also must “complete 80 hours of training related to force options and human relations” in 12 months.
Gail said in a statement she was disappointed with the decision and believed Amiott’s termination was warranted.
“I will ensure that Patrolman Amiott is monitored and he is compliant with these conditions,” she said.
The Euclid Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 18, which had appealed the firing, could not be immediately reached for comment. But in a statement reported by CNN affiliate WEWS, the union said, “We appreciate the Mayor’s respect for the process and taking this, with the union, through the binding arbitration process with a neutral arbitrator. We expect that Officer Amiott will do his best to serve the community upon his return.”
According to a police report from the 2017 incident, motorist Richard Hubbard III was pulled over for driving without using signals and also accused of driving with a suspended license. When Amiott opened the car door and ordered the driver out, Hubbard got out and tried to walk away.
A struggle ensued between the two men, and a second officer tried to subdue Hubbard. The second officer used a stun gun on Hubbard but also accidentally hit his partner with the stun gun, the report said. Hubbard yelled racist slurs at the officers, the report said.
The video shows Amiott and another officer trying to handcuff Hubbard and punching him repeatedly. Hubbard appears to resist arrest.
In the video, Hubbard’s girlfriend, who was a passenger, slaps the ground as she screams at her boyfriend to stop resisting. He does not.
“Bae, stop! Bae, listen to me,” Tirado Caraballo says repeatedly.
The officers are heard yelling, “Stop fighting.”
Hubbard is asked to roll over on his stomach. He doesn’t.
He is heard telling his girlfriend to capture the altercation on cell phone video.
“Babe, record this,” he says. “Look, they’re punching me.”
Hubbard and the passenger are also heard in the video telling the officers he does not have a gun.
Hubbard was charged with misdemeanors, including resisting officers, driving on a suspended license and a traffic infraction.
Chris McNeal, an attorney who represented Hubbard at the time, called Amiott’s reinstatement “maddening.”
“Mr. Hubbard, Ms. Tirado, and I are all very disappointed that an unelected arbitrator has usurped the authority of the duly elected mayor of the City of Euclid, and reinstated a roguish police officer with a documented history of insubordination, and a pattern of using excessive force upon mostly African-American arrestees,” McNeal wrote in an email to CNN.
“It is troubling that anyone would see it prudent to place such an individual back into a position where he can again abuse his authority, and do violence to citizens under color of law.”
In August 2016, Amiott “lost his temper” at the scene of an arrest and used his gun as an “impact weapon” to subdue a suspect, according to his Euclid police personnel file.
Before joining the Euclid force, he had to resign from a neighboring police department after making a false statement in a police report, according to a Mentor Police Department internal investigation report.
CNN’s Lauren del Valle and Janet DiGiacomo contributed to this report.