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Euclid police officer charged with assault, civil rights violation

Officer Michael Amiott has been taken off streets while the case is pending

EUCLID, Ohio — A Euclid police officer is accused of misdemeanor charges related to a traffic stop that turned violent more than two years ago.

Patrolman Michael Amiott is charged with two counts of assault and a single count of violating civil rights. He is charged in Euclid Municipal Court and is scheduled to appear Sept. 12.

Euclid police officer charged with assault

Amiott was placed on administrative duties today after the charges were announced, a police spokesman said. He was originally fired for the incident but later reinstated by an arbitrator who ruled that Amiott be rehired by the Euclid Police Department nearly a year after he was terminated.

Amiott was involved in a traffic stop that turned violent on August 12, 2017. 25-year-old Richard Hubbard III was pulled over on East 228th Street just before 10:30 a.m. for "a moving/traffic violation." Hubbard was ordered to exit the car and face away so he could be taken into custody.

Police say Hubbard refused, and a violent struggle ensued. The video that was captured showed Amiott taking Hubbard to the ground, punching him multiple times.

Initially, Amiott was suspended for 15 days without pay, then 30 additional days were tacked on. On October 13, 2017, he was fired after Euclid Mayor Kirsten Gail said her office had received "further complaints regarding Amiott's professional conduct" and found that he had violated additional department rules, leading to his termination.

Hubbard has filed a civil rights suit against Euclid Police in federal court. A judge put the case on hold while the criminal investigation was ongoing.

The Euclid Fraternal Order of Police released the following statement on Amiott's arrest:

"Euclid FOP Lodge 18 has recently learned that Special Prosecutor Dominic Vitantonio has decided to file criminal charges against officer Michael Amiott for an incident that occurred in August 2017. 

"The Euclid FOP is greatly disheartened by Mr. Vitantonio’s decision, which comes after two years of analyzing a series of events that took only seconds to unfold.  Officer Amiott was attempting to effect a lawful arrest and the suspect resisted.  Officer Amiott, who was injured in the encounter, took the measures that he reasonably believed to be necessary to effect the arrest and protect himself from further harm. 

"Officer Amiott has the full support of the Euclid FOP and we are confident that when all of the evidence is heard, he will be vindicated."

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