CLEVELAND, Ohio – A Euclid police officer who was fired after video of a violent traffic stop went viral has been sued by a second man who claims the officer kicked him in the face and shocked him with a Taser during an arrest for possession of less than a gram of marijuana.
Michael Amiott’s kick left Emirius Spencer with a fractured orbital bone, then the officer cited the 29-year-old for drug possession, resisting arrest, theft for trying to grab his Taser and criminal damaging because Amiott said his sunglasses broke during the encounter, according to the lawsuit.
Spencer yelled for help just before Amiott delivered the kick, the lawsuit says.
The suit, filed Friday in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, accuses Amiott and his partner, Shane Rivera, of using excessive force and intentionally afflicting physical and emotional distress.
Spencer, who has no prior felony criminal record, is also suing the city of Euclid, accusing it of negligence for hiring Amiott and failing to properly train and supervise him.
The suit requests at least $25,000 in damages and a chance to go before a jury.
Amiott was fired in October, two months after Chief Scott Meyer placed him on leave following the release of a cellphone video that showed Amiott striking motorist Richard Hubbard. In a statement announcing his firing, Euclid Mayor said she had received more complaints about Ambit.
“After a review, I found Amiott to have violated additional departmental rules, including conduct unbecoming and courtesy, calling into serious question his suitability as a Euclid police officer,” she said.
Amiott and Rivera worked security at the apartment building on Dec. 5, 2016. Spencer lives on the fifth floor. He went to a friend’s apartment on the fourth floor to borrow a cigarette, when Amiott and Rivera spotted him, the lawsuit says.
The officers yelled for him to stop, and he complied. The officers then asked Spencer several questions, including his identity, whether he had any active arrest warrants and whether he was armed, the lawsuit says.
Amiott reached into Spencer’s pocket and pulled out a bag of less than a gram of marijuana, the lawsuit says. Amiott grabbed Spencer by the arm, turned him around and twisted it, the lawsuit says. Spencer asked what he was going on, and Amiott shoved him up against the wall and yelled “stop resisting,” the lawsuit says.
Spencer was not resisting, the lawsuit says.
Amiott then kneed Spencer in the groin and shoved him to the ground, the lawsuit says. Rivera then jumped on Spencer’s back and restrained his arms and legs, the lawsuit says.
Spencer called out for help, and Amiott delivered the kick to the right side of his face as Rivera kneeled on his back, the lawsuit says.
Spencer started bleeding, and the officers rolled him over and then shocked him with their Tasers, the lawsuit says. They stopped, stood Spencer up and placed him in handcuffs.
The lawsuit does not say how Spencer got to Euclid Hospital, but it says Amiott and Rivera went with him and insisted to staff that he remain handcuffed to the bed.
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