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Glendale police offer few answers for 2017 stun gun tactics that led to federal lawsuit

• AZCentral.com
Attorneys representing Johnny Wheatcroft, who was hit with a Taser multiple times by Glendale police officers during a traffic stop in 2017, announce they are filing a lawsuit. Tom Tingle, The Republic | azcentral.com
 

The four videos and the accompanying information provided practically no new information on the 2017 traffic stop in which Glendale Officer Matt Schneider used a stun gun on Johnny Wheatcroft 11 times after he refused to show his identification to the officer. 

Two department spokespeople — Sgt. John Roth and Officer Tiffany Ngalula — said the briefing was intended to address questions the department received about the incident and to fulfill a number of public records requests. 

The dozen media members in attendance were not allowed to record during the briefing, which took place at an isolated training center miles away from the main station where protesters were gathered. 

Ngalula said recording wasn't allowed due to the pending federal lawsuit, despite that the attorney on the other side of the case has already released several videos police have provided to him.

What the videos showed

Bill Demski (right) and a man who asked to only be identified as J.D. talk during a small protest on Feb. 11, 2019, outside Glendale police headquarters. The police department has faced scrutiny after body cam footage was released of officers repeatedly using a Taser on a man in 2017, resulting in a federal lawsuit and one officer's suspension.

Bill Demski (right) and a man who asked to only be identified as J.D. talk during a small protest on Feb. 11, 2019, outside Glendale police headquarters. The police department has faced scrutiny after body cam footage was released of officers repeatedly using a Taser on a man in 2017, resulting in a federal lawsuit and one officer's suspension. (Photo: Sean Logan/The Republic)

The first two videos shown Monday — Schneider's body-camera footage and surveillance video from the hotel — already had been released by Wheatcroft's attorney, Marc Victor, and police last week.

Another video captured the moments after Wheatcroft's wife, Anya Chapman, struck Officer Mark Lindsey with a bag full of unopened soda cans. Lindsey falls to the ground after he's hit and blacks out for a few seconds before another officer drags him to a wall. He later gets up and walks away on his own. 

The fourth video shows Lindsey talking to another officer and the fire department after the three adults in the car were taken into custody. 

Ngalula didn't respond to questions about what a woman striking an officer with a bag of sodas had to do with Schneider using astun gunon a man in handcuffs. Officers already had shocked Wheatcroft when she hit Lindsey.

What happened during the incident

Wheatcroft and Chapman were parked outside a Motel 6 in downtown Glendale with their two minor children and a family friend after they were stopped in traffic by Schneider and Lindsey on July 26, 2017. The car was pulled over for a traffic violation.

Wheatcroft, who was in the front-passenger seat, refused the officer's requests to provide his driver's license and asked why he needed to identify himself.

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