Police used stun gun 11 times, Arizona couple's lawsuit says
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — A man and his wife are suing a Phoenix suburb and three of its police officers, alleging they used excessive force during a 2017 traffic stop.
A lawyer for the couple said Glendale police body camera video shows officers using a stun gun 11 times on Johnny Wheatcroft after he questioned why he had to provide identification.
Attorney Marc Victor has scheduled a news conference Monday to release the video and issue a statement about the case. He declined to do either Sunday.
Wheatcroft was a front-seat passenger in a vehicle driven by a family friend on July 26, 2017. Wheatcroft’s wife, Anya Chapman, was in the backseat with the couple’s two children as they headed to a motel.
Officers pulled over the car because of a traffic violation and discovered the driver didn’t have a license, police said in a statement Friday. Wheatcroft declined to show police his driver’s license and questioned why he had to provide identification.
The officers saw Wheatcroft reaching under his seat for a backpack and he “continued to argue, yell and physically resist” as they tried to remove him from the vehicle, police said.
The lawsuit said the situation then escalated with officers using stun guns multiple times on Wheatcroft, who was “writhing in pain while his family watched and screamed for the officers to stop.”
Wheatcroft was jailed on suspicion of aggravated assault and resisting arrest, but the charges were later dropped.
The lawsuit says police used “unlawful, unnecessary, unreasonable and excessive force” on Wheatcroft and violated his civil rights. It seeks damages to be determined at trial.
Police said one of the officers involved was suspended for three days after a review.
Glendale officials and the Police Department didn’t immediately return requests for comment on the lawsuit Sunday.