Glendale Police officials face mounting controversy surrounding man's tasing in 2017
GLENDALE, Ariz. (FOX 10) -- It's an arrest under scrutiny, and on Monday, FOX 10 has obtained new body camera video from an incident where a man was tased by officers in 2017.
Footage from the new video shows an officer, identified by a Glendale Police news release on February 8 as Officer Mark Lindsey, getting struck by a bottle, rendering him unconsciously due to the force.
At the same time, however, there are new questions about whether the officers used excessive force, including whether using a Taser 11 times on the suspect, identified as Johnny Wheatcroft, was necessary.
That arrest in 2017 has since led to a lawsuit filed on behalf of Wheatcroft and his family. They claim the situation spiraled out of control when Wheatcroft declined to show his ID to the officer. Now, Glendale Police officials are facing some tough questions over the officers' actions.
During the tasing incident, officials reportedly pulled Wheatcroft's pants down, while he was in custody, and shocked his testicles. When asked on Monday, Police officials referred to that area as Wheatcroft's thigh.
At the same time, Glendale Police had a rather tense day with reporters. Sgt. John Roth with the department said he wanted to give members of the media all the information, but refused to allow cameras inside to show a dozen reporters four different videos of the incident.
Glendale Police answered questions, without cameras, and when pressed on issues of policy, tactics and protocol. Reporters heard a familiar refrain.
"I don't have an answer for you."
Meanwhile, protesters gathered seven miles to the east to denounce the questionable use of force.
FOX 10 tried to speak with the mayor of Glendale, but was turned away. FOX 10 also called city council members, one by one, but received no response.
As for a media briefing by Marc Victor, an attorney representing Wheatcroft, FOX 10 was not invited to the briefing ahead of time, and Victor would not go on camera with a FOX 10 videographer at the scene. In addition, Victor did not return several calls that FOX 10's Matt Rodewald made to the office.
Officials with ACLU of Arizona, however, had plenty to say about how the incident was handled on Monday. In two tweets on its verified Twitter page, it says "the trend of police departments preventing recording devices in 'press conferences' inhibits reporters from doing their jobs and shields officers from being held accountable to the communities they are sworn to protect," and says "this lack of transparency demonstrates that Valley law enforcement agencies continue to value their own reputations more than a person's life."
Glendale Police officials did say, however, they will release a report and photos on Tuesday.