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Officer convicted of assaulting Black driver in 2017 stop

EUCLID, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio police officer has been convicted of assaulting a Black motorist during a 2017 traffic stop.

Jurors deliberated for nearly five hours Friday before convicting Euclid officer Michael Amiott of assault and interfering with civil rights, both first-degree misdemeanors, Cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer reported. He was acquitted of another count of assault.

Video showed Amiott, who is white, repeatedly punching driver Richard Hubbard III during an August 2017 traffic stop in the Cleveland suburb. The police union argued that Amiott used reasonable force to control Hubbard when he resisted arrest and wounded an officer.

Amiott was fired but an independent arbitrator ordered him reinstated a year later. The city of Euclid last year agreed to pay $450,000 to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit in the case.

The Fraternal Order of Police/Ohio Labor Council said in a statement it was disappointed by the verdict in Euclid Municipal Court .

“We remain confident that officer Amiott’s actions were reasonable given the circumstances and we continue to stand by him”, said Dave Trend, president of FOP Euclid Lodge #18 and FOP/Ohio Labor Council board member.

Chief Scott Meyer of the Euclid police department said he hoped the 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,” Meyer said, vowing that the department “will move forward and continue to serve our community with impartiality and transparency.”