Thursday, 19 September, 2019

Phoenix police chief apologizes to family over incident

Parents Police pulled guns on them after 4-year-old daughter took a doll from a store in Phoenix Parents Police pulled guns on them after 4-year-old daughter took a doll from a store in Phoenix
Patty Aguilar | 17 June, 2019, 09:22

Phoenix mayor, Kate Gallego, meanwhile issued an apology for the police actions, branding them "completely inappropriate and clearly unprofessional", and noting that she found the videos to be "beyond upsetting".

Then, they berated, assaulted, and threatened to shoot them because their little girl took a doll out of the Family Dollar Store. The parents only realised she had taken the doll once they were in the auto.

Gallego, the Phoenix mayor, said in response to the incident, the city will be speeding up its implementation of police body-worn cameras across the entire police department.

On June 14, police chief Jeri Williams said on Facebook that she began an internal investigation into the incident once she became aware of the video.

The couple is now demanding $10 million from the city of Phoenix, claiming that the officers involved committed battery, unlawful imprisonment, false arrest and infliction of emotional distress in addition to violating their civil rights.

Dravon Ames, Iesha Harper and their two children, 1-year-old London Drake and 4-year-old Island Drake, were allegedly driving to a babysitter after shopping at a local store when a police vehicle appeared and demanded they pull over. He had a gun drawn,"Ames told CNN". Ames also adds that there were no sirens to indicate they were being pulled over, nor did the officer pointing the firearm identify himself immediately as an cop.

"I wish investigations could be handled instantly, but each one takes time and deserves the due diligence before we can discuss specific details", she said. On officer on the force for 11 years - the other 23.

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In the back of the vehicle, Harper said she saw the police following them, but "she was scared and did not know what to do".

Police say an officer was at the store on an unrelated shoplifting call when store employees told him about another shoplifting complaint and directed him toward a vehicle that was leaving the parking lot as the officer approached. He, too, said was sorry and that he was "very scared" during the incident, the report states. The officer forced her out of the vehicle and she was still holding one-year-old London.

"The minute the video came to our attention, we began an internal investigation", _ said.

The family's notice of claim says it happened May 29. After Harper gave her baby to an onlooker, both she and her fiance were handcuffed and put in a police vehicle. But Ames was given a traffic citation for driving on a suspended license. They're asking for the officers in question to be fired.

Police further said that, because the stolen property was returned, store employees said they did not want to prosecute the case, so no one was charged.

The two officers involved have been taken off of street duty and are on non-enforcement duties.

"The Phoenix Police Department takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and for this reason, this incident is now being investigated by the Professional Standards Bureau", the department said.

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