Phoenix Police Union Urges Calm After Videotaped Incident

Clay Curtis
June 20, 2019

The family accuses the officers of battery, unlawful imprisonment, false arrest, infliction of emotional distress, and violation of civil rights.

Police also said there were other stolen items in the vehicle during the encounter besides the doll.

Jeri Williams, the city's police chief, said in a video posted to Facebook that an internal investigation had been launched.

"As soon as I was aware of the video, I began an immediate internal investigation", Williams said.

It happened after police stopped Dravon Ames, Iesha Harper and their two young daughters in an apartment parking lot.

Gallego said she was "deeply sorry for what this family went through", and would quicken the deployment of body-cameras in the police force. Not long after leaving the Family Dollar store, Ames said that he and his partner arrived at a nearby apartment complex to drop the little girl off with a babysitter.

Ames and Harper say city cops pointed guns at them while their 1-year-old and 4-year-old daughters watched, and one officer is even heard saying he will shoot Harper in the head.

Now, Phoenix Kate Gallego says the police officers' actions were "completely inappropriate and clearly unprofessional", calling the recordings "beyond upsetting". Police claim a woman in the vehicle said she believed the child stole the doll and that she heard officers tell "the driver to stop with auto several times, but he didn't".

This lead to the couple filing a lawsuit against the city of Phoenix and its police department for $10 million.

The claim went on to state that the police officer pushed Ames against the auto, forced him to spread his legs and even went on to kick him hard on the back of the right knee. She has also scheduled a public meeting with the police chief for the community to air its thoughts about the troubling footage of the police interaction.

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According to their statements to police, an officer yelled for the auto to stop, and the parents heard the command, but Ames drove off anyway.

Ames said there were no sirens or lights to indicate that they were being pulled over beforehand and the officer who was pointing a gun at them did not immediately identify himself as an officer. As Harper, who was in the backseat with the teenagers, advised police that she couldn't originate the stuck door and that she had her 300 and sixty five days-outmoded little one on her lap, an officer also can merely moreover be heard on the video changing into more and more agitated.

Both parents were handcuffed and detained inside police vehicles, but they were eventually released, Horne said.

Ames received a traffic ticket for allegedly driving on a suspended license, impounding his vehicle, NPR notes.

According to police, no one was arrested for shoplifting because the store manager declined to prosecute.

Phoenix police told ABC15 that the officer who verbally and physically attacked Ames is on a "non-enforcement assignment".

"As a police department, we have been very transparent about this incident", he added.

The officers involved in the incident were not wearing body cameras.

The officers involved have since been assigned to desk duty as the department investigates.

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