A former Glendale police officer has been charged with three felonies four years after body cam video showed him and fellow officers using a stun gun on a man 11 times during a traffic stop.
The Arizona Attorney General’s Office filed three counts of felony aggravated assault charges against Matthew Schneider on Sept. 8.
The body cam video, which was released in early 2019, shows Schneider using the stun gun on Johnny Wheatcroft 11 times during a July 26, 2017, traffic stop.
Wheatcroft was allegedly yelling and resisting officers; however, according to the video, he was caught in his seatbelt. Wheatcroft, who filed a lawsuit against the city, was charged with aggravated assault and resisting arrest, but that case was dropped.
“When this incident took place, the Glendale Police Department conducted a criminal investigation and submitted a report to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office,” the GPD said in a statement sent by Jose Miguel Santiago, the public safety media relations coordinator.
“That report included possible charges against former officer Schneider. After reviewing the report and videos, which have since been widely circulated through the media, MCAO notified the Glendale Police Department that they would not be filing charges. The Glendale Police Department then conducted an internal investigation, in line with the city’s policies and procedures, that resulted in discipline against former officer Schneider.
“The city will fully cooperate with any requests made by the attorney general’s office. The Glendale Police Department works tirelessly to maintain the respect of the community they serve. The Glendale Police Department wants the community to know that they are honored to serve and protect them and want to do so with a police force they can be proud to have representing them. As this matter is under litigation, we will have no further comment.”
Schneider was suspended for three days and applied for retirement last year.