This past weekend, a Euclid, Ohio police officer named Michael Amiott was placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation after footage of him beating a black man, recorded by both his own dash cam and a witness, went viral.
The man on the receiving end of the beating, 25-year-old Richard Hubbard III, had been pulled over after he allegedly went through a stop sign.
"Hubbard ignored the order to face away, and as the officer attempted to take Hubbard into custody, he began physically resisting," the police said in a statement, according to Buzzfeed. "A violent struggle lasting over three minutes ensued and additional officers were needed to eventually take Hubbard into custody."
A witness to the incident, LaShaunda Malone, recorded the events and uploaded her video to Facebook, where it has racked up roughly 6.5 million views as of this writing. She explained what she saw prior to pressing the 'record' button: "He just got out the car, as soon as he got out the car, the officer grabbed him by the throat," she said. "It was disturbing."
On Monday, the local PD released dash cam footage of the incident. In it, Amiott can be heard telling Hubbard that the vehicle is registered to a driver on a suspended license, that he drove through a stop sign, and that one of the two passengers was not using their seatbelt. The officer then questions whether Hubbard is getting upset because he has a warrant, and tells him to get out of the car. As Hubbard gets out, Amiott repeats "Face away from me, face away from me," and within a few seconds, he escalates to violence. The full, extremely chaotic, video can be seen below, but note that Hubbard exits his car at the 2:22 mark.
Following the commotion, Hubbard was charged with driving with a suspended license and resisting arrest. He was examined at the Cuyahoga County Jail afterward.
As for Amiott, he is "on paid administrative leave, pending the ending of an administration review into the use of force," according to the public information officer for the department. A further statement from the cops said, "This entire incident will be reviewed, in detail, so that the public can have a full and open understanding of the series of events that eventually led to this violent encounter."
Less than two weeks ago, Amiott was accused of similar actions during the arrest of a city worker. In that instance, he allegedly roughed up recreational department employee Shawn George after George began recording the office and asking why he was arresting a teenager. George suffered eye, head, and facial injuries during that altercation, and said about it, "I'm frozen in fear. I thought I was going to die that day. I was treated like I was a career criminal."
Of this most recent incident, the city's mayor, Kirsten Gail, released a statement that said in part, "We have policies and procedures in place to ensure that all use of force by police are both lawful and justified. I can assure you the incident will be reviewed thoroughly and appropriate action will be taken."
Amiott has been an officer in Euclid since 2014 after previously spending time in Mentor, a city less than 20 miles away. Mentor's police chief, when questioned by local affiliate WKYC on Monday, says that Amiott "struggled...to meet department standards" while on his probationary period, and "separated" from their force after less than a year.