Newly obtained body-camera footage shows police in Glendale, Arizona, using a stun gun on a man 11 times, including on his bare testicles, during a 2017 traffic stop.
Arizona’s ABC 15 and The Arizona Republic obtained footage that shows one officer kicking 39-year-old Johnny Wheatcroft ― who was handcuffed and lying on the ground at the time ― in the groin and using a stun gun on his testicles as his wife and two children plead with officers to stop. Wheatcroft is now suing the officers and police department for “excessive … force and torture.”
Several independent law enforcement experts who reviewed the body-cam footage told the ABC affiliate that the officers’ conduct was unlawful and “outrageous.”
“That’s not even borderline. That’s inhumane,” said former LAPD detective supervisor T.T. Williams.
Wheatcroft had been in the front passenger seat of a silver Ford Taurus when police in Glendale stopped the car on July 27, 2017, for an alleged turn signal violation. Wheatcroft’s friend had been driving the vehicle.
Body-cam footage obtained by the ABC affiliate and the Arizona Republic shows officer Matt Schneider asking Wheatcroft for identification. Wheatcroft responded that he did not have an ID on him and asked why he needed to identify himself since he hadn’t done “anything wrong.”
Tensions rapidly escalated after Schneider accused Wheatcroft of “stuffing” something under his seat — an allegation Wheatcroft denied. Schneider then opened the car door and grabbed Wheatcroft’s arm, twisting it behind his back. The officer accused the man of resisting ― an allegation Wheatcroft also denied — before he deployed his stun gun for the first time.
A scuffle ensued.
Schneider and a second officer — Mark Lindsey — pulled Wheatcroft, who was entangled in his seatbelt, from the vehicle and stunned him multiple times. Wheatcroft can be heard shouting in pain as his two young sons, who were in the backseat of the car with Wheatcroft’s wife, shouted at the police to “please stop.”
The children, ages 6 and 11, were “terrified, screaming, and traumatized by the officers’ atrocious conduct,” Wheatcroft’s lawsuit says.