FEATURED PHOTO: MICHAEL AMIOTT
WKYC.com, By Ryan Haidet, Carmen Blackwell, Posted April 18th 2023
Amiott was convicted last July on charge connected with a traffic stop involving Richard Hubbard dating back to August of 2017.
More than eight months after he was found guilty of assault and interfering with civil rights amid a trial focused on the conversation of excessive force, Euclid police officer Michael Amiott was back in court Friday for sentencing where a judge placed him on one year of non-reporting community control with a $1,000 fine.
That decision came after the judge initially announced a 90-day sentence, which he then suspended. The judge also said the punishment was only being attached to the assault charge.
“Given the length of time involved here, the court will use the assault as opposed to the violation of civil rights,” he noted. “Not saying they weren’t violated, but given the length of time the court will use the assault charge.”
Friday’s court hearing comes years after Amiott was charged in connection with an August 2017 traffic stop involving Richard Hubbard. The incident, which turned physical, was captured on camera.
We streamed the entire sentencing hearing live, which you can watch in full below:
Before the judge announced his decision on sentencing, Amiott offered a nearly nine-minute statement to the court in which he said he accepted the jury’s verdict.
“I’m not an advocate for or against use-of-force,” he said. “Everything I did on that day was based on my training and experience. From here on out I’ll be an advocate for subject-control training department-wide going forward so we can all be at our best when the time comes. I have a deep respect and love for the citizens and this community. I want to do my best to serve them. After all, that’s what they deserve.”
You can watch Amiott’s full statement in the video below:
He also addressed his disappointment with some elements from the trial.
“One of the most shocking examples was a prosecution witness who testified that I was celebrating in the aftermath of this arrest,” Amiott said. “They testified that I was high-fiving, fist-bumping and dabbing it up with other officers. There was five police cars on East 228th Street that day all with their dash cameras on and rolling. They all had overlapping field of view. I can be seen in front of one of those cameras the entire time I was on scene until I was transported to the hospital. Nothing remotely close to what the witness described happened with me or any other officer on the scene. They knew this and put the witness on the stand anyway. This was a use-of-force encounter that divided a community. It is something I have replayed in my head for the better half of a decade. This is not something I’ve ever celebrated. I take full responsibility that there was a failure on my behalf getting Mr. Hubbard.”
In his closing comments, Amiott said he’s not an advocate for or against use-of-force.
“Everything I did on that day was based on my training and experience,” he said. “From here on out I’ll be an advocate for subject control training department-wide going forward so we can all be at our best when the time comes. I have a deep respect and love for the citizens and this community. I want to do my best to serve them. After all, that’s what they deserve.”
Prior to the judge’s decision on sentencing, Hubbard also took a moment to address the court.
“I appreciate the jury and the court for making the right decision,” he said. “What Amiott did to me was wrong. He should receive the maximum sentence today. I’m still going through the suffering with anxiety, the temperament, the trauma and everything caused from this case. I’m ready to get it over, actually. Just coming back in here just like brings up everything.
EUCLID POLICE DEPARTMENT REACTS
Shortly after Amiott’s sentencing, the Euclid Police Department released the following statement:
The long legal process involving Officer Michael Amiott’s arrest of Richard Hubbard in August of 2017 is ending. As a result of the incident, Officer Amiott’s employment was terminated later that same year. In October of 2018, an independent arbitrator ruled to reinstate Amiott to the police department.
In August of 2019, Officer Amiott was criminally charged and in July of 2022, found guilty of misdemeanor charges stemming from Hubbard’s arrest. Today, Amiott was sentenced to a 90-day suspended sentence, 1 year of community control sanctions (probation), a fine, and court costs.
Officer Amiott’s termination, reinstatement, trial, and eventual sentence were all the result of lawful processes set forth in our legal system. The Euclid Police Department respects those processes, as well as their results.
Officer Amiott is currently assigned to the Euclid Police Department’s Warrant Unit. His future assignment within the department has yet to be determined. The Euclid Police Department considers this matter closed.
EUCLID F.O.P. #18 REACTS
While we disagree with the decision of the jury and the judge’s sentence, we respect the judicial process. The members of Euclid F.O.P. Lodge #18 will continue to support Officer Amiott in any way possible. We encourage Ptl. Amiott to use all of the judicial processes available to him to right this injustice.
What follows are details of the case as previously reported by 3News…
When the trial unfolded last summer, Amiott took the stand in his own defense.
“First he tells me initially he doesn’t have any type of ID on him,” Amiott said of Hubbard while testifying in court last year. “Then I ask him to spell his name. He eventually produces an ID. When he does that, it’s an Ohio ID card. He doesn’t have a driver’s license. He can be arrested for that. So the plan was we were going to take him for no driver’s license. He was going to be arrested for no driver’s license, given a citation.”
He then explained his side of what happened as the situation escalated.
“I’m on the ground, he hops right up and starts slamming my head on the ground, which I don’t even know why he did that,” Hubbard testified when asked to explain what was happening at specific moments from the incident. “But then my girlfriend gets out of the car and starts screaming.”
Here’s video from the moment Amiott was found guilty in the case back on July 29, 2022:
Hubbard was accused of resisting arrest after allegedly refusing Amiott’s orders, and the ensuing struggle resulted in Hubbard being hit multiple times while on the ground. The criminal charges against Hubbard were later dropped, and while he suffered no permanent injuries, the city later agreed to a $450,000 settlement with both him and the owner of the car he was driving.
Following a 45-day suspension, Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail fired Amiott from the police force, but an independent arbitrator reinstated him a year later. Nevertheless, Amiott was arrested and charged in Euclid Municipal Court in August of 2019 following further investigation, and his trial was subsequently delayed two years by COVID-19.
In the days following his conviction, 3News learned Amiott was “assigned to non-enforcement, administrative duties until further notice.”
Euclid Police Chief Scott Meyer issued the following statement after Amiott was found guilty:
“With regard to the recent court ruling in the Officer Michael Amiott trial, I believe it is important that the process was allowed to reach its ultimate conclusion in the court of law and not the court of public opinion. It is my hope that this decision can start to bring closure to all of the parties affected by this five-year long process. The dedicated and hard-working men and women of the Euclid Police Department continue to serve honorably and selflessly during an extremely challenging time for our society and our profession. The Euclid Police Department will move forward and continue to serve our community with impartiality and transparency.”