GLENDALE, AZ – The Town of Glendale Police Pension Board has voted unanimously to advance the disability retirement claims of two officers denounced by ABC15 for excessive use of force.
Officer Matthew Schneider and Sgt. Aaron Aldridge will now undergo medical exams to determine if they have any physical or mental issues that prevent them from doing their jobs.
FULL COVERAGE: ABUSE OF FORCE
Following the reviews, the local Police Board of the Glendale Public Safety Personnel Retirement System will vote to approve whether the two officers can receive full retirement benefits before normal retirements.
Voting board member Justin Harris, another Glendale officer, hugged and kissed Schneider after the initial vote.
Schneider, who is not currently on leave, is the subject of an FBI criminal investigation following an ABC15 report last February.
During a traffic stop in July 2017, Schneider repeatedly hit a man, including once in the testicles when he was handcuffed while lying on the ground, according to body camera footage and a federal lawsuit.
Schneider’s lawyers claimed in court in a civil case that criminal charges were alleged and expected in the near future.
Schneider was suspended for three days by the city for his role in the traffic control. Independent experts have called his actions one of the most disturbing and sadistic cases of police misconduct they have ever seen.
ABC15 also obtained a video showing Sgt. Aldridge immediately slaughtered a man in the chest in late 2018 without warning. The suspect, who was accused of stealing a bait bike, clearly had both hands raised above his head.
Accidental disability pensions would allow both officers to receive full pension benefits without reaching the required 20 years of service.
Schneider, his wife and his lawyer attended the public meeting and were scheduled to speak about his condition.
However, once ABC15 reporters arrived, his lawyer asked the board to rescind its waiver of confidentiality and only address the board in executive session, which is closed to the public.
Aldridge did not attend the meeting.
The town hall meeting took place on the fourth floor of Glendale Town Hall behind a locked door.
When reporters from ABC15 arrived before the meeting, a security guard told the team that the meeting was not public.
Shortly after, the security guard asked reporters from ABC15 to sign a blank sheet of paper. And two city spokespersons also came to ask why the journalists were there.
The request conflicts with Arizona open meeting laws.
“The open meeting law does not allow public bodies to require members of the public to sign an attendance sheet in order to attend a public meeting,” according to the Arizona Ombudsman’s website.
After showing the spokespersons the public meeting agenda and requesting access, the employees unlocked the door and let ABC15 into the meeting.
A spokesperson then apologized for the confusion.
Contact ABC15 investigator Dave Biscobing at [email protected]