Most police officers are good people and are constantly conscious about what is considered acceptable behavior and what is considered excessive force. Even when dealing with those whom they suspect of committing a crime, there are clear lines as to what an acceptable use of force is and when it becomes a violation of another person’s civil rights.
AZ Central recently reported that 17-year Phoenix Police veteran, Officer Tim Baiardi, 44, is due to be prosecuted for aggravated assault. Video surveillance video confirmed an incident that happened in December of 2018 that Officer Tim Baiardi slapped suspected shoplifter Roger Moran, 22.
The incident happened on December 7, 2018, at the Walmart located at the intersection of 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. During the arrest, Officer Baiardi both punched and kneed Moran in order to handcuff him. Surveillance video provided by Walmart shows Officer Baiardi slapping Moran again after he’d been handcuffed and was seated on a bench inside the store’s administrative offices.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office said it will be pursuing charges against Officer Baiardi. A probable-cause statement filed in Maricopa County Superior Court said that as soon as Moran was seated Baiardi slapped Moran across the face” with considerable force.”
Two supervisors investigating the incident said that Baiardi when interviewed denied striking Moran and did not provide any justification for the strike. Phoenix Chief of Police, Jeri Williams, was both shocked and appalled by what surveillance video showed of Baiardi’s conduct and said that that sort of behavior by officers will not be tolerated and will be dealt with accordingly. Baiardi has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the legal case.
This is the second case this year against Phoenix Police Officers accusing excessive use of force. In March, two officers allegedly beat up Aarone Fowler, 23, during an arrest when he was falsely accused him of stealing his own vehicle.