An Euclid police officer has been told he is allowed to have his job back, after he lost his job last year for attacking a man that was caught on camera.
An arbitrator ruled on Monday that Officer Michael Amiott was able to continue being an officer within the department.
Amiott was originally suspended before ending up getting fired after getting caught on camera violently arresting Richard Hubbard III, 25, while puching him in the face multiple times during a traffic stop.
In the last 2 years, Officer Amiott was involved in 17 other use of force cases, which is the seventh-highest number of any officer within the police department.
The decision to allow Amiott back on the force comes with a few conditions, set by arbitrator Gregory Szuter:
- 80 hours in-class training
- 60 to 90 days of additional field training
- No side jobs during probation
- Removal from the police department’s SWAT team
Since the news of the officer having the ability to rejoin the department the NAACP put out a statement:
> “The Euclid NAACP is advising travelers, particularly those of color to proceed with caution when driving through the municipality of Euclid, Ohio. We suggest that you remain aware of your surroundings.”
Hubbard was originally charged with driving under suspension and resisting arrest but was cleared of the charges.
The video of Hubbards arrest was posted on Facebook on Aug. 13 2017, with him already on the ground.
There are conflicting reports on what happened before the camera started rolling.
Officers at the scene stated that Hubbard ignored commands to turn away from officers but in a news conference days after the incident Hubbard stated “I did not resist arrest. I stay out of trouble and never thought this would happen to me. When the officer told me to get out of the car, I got out of the car.”
He stated that he immediately turned around and at that moment he was attacked.
The Fraternal Order of Police in Euclid released a statement after Szuter’s ruling:
> On October 22, 2018 arbitrator Gregory P. Szuter released his ruling concerning the matter of the FOP Euclid Lodge #18 and the FOP/OLC seeking the reinstatement of Michael Amiott as a Euclid Police Officer. Mr. Amiott’s employment was terminated one year ago. In this case, Mr. Szuter found just cause for a 15 day suspension and ordered that Mr. Amiott be reinstated. 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.
The mayor of Euclid, Kirsten Holzheimer Gail, is disappointed in the arbitrator’s decision and supported the officers termination.
Gail stated according to News 5 Cleveland:
> On 10/22/18, the City of Euclid and Euclid Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 18 received the Arbitration Decision and Award pertaining to the suspension and termination of Euclid Police Department Patrolman Michael Amiott who was terminated in October 2017. I believe that Patrolman Amiott’s termination was warranted, but the Union exercised their right to appeal the discipline. The Arbitrator did not agree with the City’s position and ordered that Patrolman Amiott be reinstated. However, conditions were imposed upon the reinstatement to include: (1) Patrolman Amiott will be assigned to the division determined by the Chief within two weeks; (2) placement with a field training officer who will mentor, monitor and document performance for 60 days; (3) 80 hours training related to force options and human relations that must be completed in 12 months; (4) no side jobs until training is complete; (5) removal from EDGE Tactical Team. I will ensure that Patrolman Amiott is monitored and he is compliant with these conditions.
> Policing has to be effective and perceived to be effective by all members of the community. Our goal remains to continuously upgrade and improve the Euclid Police Department. Since Patrolman Amiott’s termination in October 2017, the EPD implemented new programs such as the use of force review committee; enhanced training in areas such as community relations, de-escalation techniques, procedural justice, implicit bias; and increased proactive community engagement efforts.
> While I am disappointed by the decision, I respect the arbitration process and accept the ruling. The City of Euclid and the Euclid Police Department remain committed to providing a safe community and to treating all residents justly and with dignity and respect.
Euclid Police is not the first department to allow an officer with a bad history on the force.
Three hours south, Bellaire Police Department decided to hire the officer that killed Tamir Rice within 2 seconds of arriving.