I TEAM: new video and new questions surrounding officer in violent arrest

EUCLID, Ohio - The FOX 8 I TEAM has obtained police video showing why an officer lost his job on one police force before he joined another local department and ended up in a violent arrest caught on camera.

We’ve uncovered more about Euclid officer Michael Amiott. An internal investigation now centers on an arrest last weekend caught on camera in video that’s gone viral. Amiott can be seen struggling for several minutes with a suspect and repeatedly punching him after a traffic stop. Police say the man resisted arrest. Civil rights groups are calling for a federal investigation.

Tuesday, the I TEAM revealed Amiott resigned from Mentor Police just before getting fired, and now we have the patrol car video that cost him his job.

It started with a traffic stop in 2014. Mentor Police say Amiott first stopped a car for no front license plate, and that stop then led to an arrest. But investigators say, that car didn’t need a front plate, so Amiott made up a story about the car weaving in order to justify the stop. The chief later wrote Amiott was going to be fired, but he first asked if he could resign.

Investigators there reviewed the same patrol car video we’ve now received to get to the bottom of it.

So after nearly getting fired in Mentor, how did that officer get hired in Euclid? The I TEAM has learned he got hired just months later. A spokesman told us that Euclid Police did a background check and knew about Mentor. But the Euclid police chief at the time has retired, so he’s not around to explain.

The current Euclid chief just put out a statement asking for patience so that his department can do a thorough and fair investigation.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP both are calling for the Feds to review the entire Euclid Police Department operations. The civil rights groups are concerned after this incident and other uses of force by police there.

While the 2014 video helped Amiott lose his job in Mentor, the video of the latest incident could help him lose his Euclid job, or it could clear him.

In their reports for the latest incident, officers wrote the suspect struggled and resisted. Amiott wrote, “he began holding my arms and body”. And, “my right shoulder was injured…along with several fingers.”

A union official said that as of Wednesday, the officer had not yet been called in for an interview by investigators. The city has placed him on paid leave.