The officer was moonlighting as a Walmart security officer when he cuffed and assaulted a suspected shoplifter.
A former police officer who pleaded guilty to handcuffing a suspected criminal and then beating him without cause has offered to voluntarily give up his peace officer certification.
Tim Baiardi was working off-duty as a security officer for Walmart when the assault occurred. According to the Phoenix New Times, he was fired from the Phoenix Police Department after pleading guilty to disorderly conduct in July.
Baiardi’s offer to give up his certification as a peace officer means he will be banned from working in any law enforcement agency in Arizona. However, he could still work as a police officer in another state.
If Baiardi had not given up his certification, the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board planned to make a decision on his standing as a peace officer at its January meeting. The board could have revoked his certification anyway, or it could have chosen to suspend it. Suspension would have allowed him to work at a different police department in the state after a set period of time.
Baiardi was charged with aggravated assault in May 2019 after ABC 15 obtained surveillance video of the December 2018 use-of-force incident.
The video shows Baiardi hitting Roger Moran, 22, in the face while Moran is sitting on a bench with his hands handcuffed behind his back. Baiardi claims Moran attempted to steal pants from the Walmart at Indian School Road and 51st Avenue.
The Phoenix Police Department placed Baiardi on leave after the video came to light and, after an investigation, recommended he face charges. Originally charged with assault, Baiardi took a plea deal that reduced the charge to disorderly conduct. He was also placed on probation.
After pleading guilty, the Phoenix Police Department fired Baiardi, who then appealed his termination. However, the Phoenix Civil Service Board denied his appeal.
According to the Phoenix New Times, he had also been suspended in 2005 for slapping another handcuffed person.
Baiardi was also one of the Phoenix police officers included in the Plain View Project, a database of racist, violent, and generally offensive social media posts made by law enforcement officers. Nearly 300 posts in the database were made by police officers from Phoenix.
One officer was fired, and nine suspended, from the Phoenix Police Department for offensive social media posts found in the database. Baiardi was one of five police officers fired from the Phoenix Police Department in 2019.