GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – A Glendale police officer will be suspended for nearly a full work week after an allegation of excessive use of force during a traffic stop earlier this year.
The original recommended suspension for Officer Matthew Salyers was 40 hours, but he appealed first to the police chief and again to the City Personnel Board. Glendale City Manager Kevin Phelps made the final decision Tuesday.
Salyers' suspension goes back to a traffic stop he and his partner made in March. The driver, 57-year-old Angelo Carrillo Sr., was pulled over for failing to signal, police say.
Both officers' had body cameras that were recording.
[VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED: Body camera video from Officer Matthew Salyers ]
[VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED: Body camera video from Salyers' partner]
Salyers' partner requested Carillo's driver's license. According to the police report, Carrillo said he did not have one. The officer then asked for another form of ID. Although he was required by law to show the officers his ID, he refused to.
"The driver said that he was not going to show me his ID, and said that he did not do anything wrong," Salyers' partner wrote in his report.
That's when Salyers' partner informed Carrillo, who was sitting in the running car, that he was going to be arrested. Salyers' partner was standing at the driver's side while Salyers was on the passenger side.
Police say Carrillo resisted arrest and started to struggle with Salyers' partner. That's when Salyers got into the car and "delivered closed hand strikes to Carrillo's face …."
"I could hear Officer Salyers yelling for the subject to stop resisting, and could hear what sounded like Officer Salyers delivering fist strikes to the subject," Salyers' partner wrote, explaining that Carrillo "was still resisting and fighting by trying to pull his arms away from both of us …."
Carrillo needed stitches. Salyers requested paramedics respond to take care of his injuries.
Video from Salyers' body camera shows the entire incident, which lasted less than a minute and ended with Carrillo in cuffs on the ground. Salyers got into the car on the passenger side and went all the way across to where Carrillo was sitting behind the wheel.
A few minutes after the altercation, Salyers took digital pictures of Carrillo's injuries as he sat handcuffed in the back of the patrol vehicle.
[APP USERS: Click here to see photo]
Video from the camera Salyers' partner wore recorded what happened from the driver's side of the car. Carrillo can be heard refusing to show his ID. Seconds later he can be seen struggling and heard swearing.
In his report, Salyers said he believed that Carrillo's car was in gear and going to roll forward and possibly injure his partner. He also said he was worried that Carrillo might be reaching for a weapon.
"I struck Angelo to disrupt him so that [we] could affect the arrest for failing to provide his identification card," he wrote.
The Glendale Police Department launched a review of the incident and eventually recommended Salyers be suspended for 40 hours. After he was served with an "Intent to Suspend" notice on May 29, Salyers, who has been with Glendale PD for about four years, appealed to the police chief, who upheld the suspension.
On July 3, Salyers was served with a "Notice to Suspend." He appealed that to the City Personnel Board, which met on Nov. 13. While most of the members agreed that some manner of discipline was appropriate, the board made a recommendation to the city manager that the discipline be reduced to something between no action and a 20-hour suspension.
Phelps, who has the final say in the matter, told Salyers Tuesday that he would be suspended for 30 working hours.
"The men and women of the Glendale Police Department make split second (sic) decisions daily," Interim Chief of Police Chris Briggs said in a news release. "There are times when our officers' decisions are not in line with our policies or training, which is the case in this incident. We take these situations seriously and take appropriate action to ensure that we are living up to the high standards that we expect of ourselves and that our community deserves."
Use of force by police officers has been in the spotlight in several Arizona cities this year. Earlier this year, a Glendale officer quit before he could be fired for excessive use of force. He reportedly had a history of problems requiring discipline by the Department.
Over the summer, the Phoenix Police Department announced that it would be tracking incidents in which officers pull their weapons. The decision came after Phoenix PD released a report on officer-involved shootings that happened in 2018. There were 44.
One of the best-known recent instances of alleged use of excessive force happened in May when officers arrested a couple after an alleged shoplifting incident. Cell phone video of the arrest went viral and the officers were accused of misconduct.
[ORIGINAL STORY: Phoenix police investigating after officers accused of misconduct]