Ross D. Franklin / AP
The mayor of Phoenix apologizes to the city recently published video showing police officers showing their weapon and threatening to shoot a 22-year-old father who was with his pregnant fiancée and two girls. Police said she was investigating allegations that one of the children stole a doll from a Family Dollar store.
Viral footage the incident captured by passers-by has already resulted in an internal police investigation, a $ 10 million civil rights claim and a furious thunder on social media. Phoenix Kate Gallego said the actions of the police officers were "completely inappropriate and clearly unprofessional", calling the recordings "beyond the disruption".
"I am deeply sorry that this family has lived and I apologize to our community", Gallego says on Twitter Saturday night. "This is not what we are, and I refuse to allow this type of behavior to not be challenged."
The episode occurred last month when Dravon Ames, 22, his fiancée, Iesha Harper, aged 24, accompanied by their two young daughters, London Drake, 1, and Island Drake, 4, visited a Family Dollar store. Unbeknownst to the parents, one of their daughters had taken a doll out of the store without paying for it.
Police said they were informed by an employee of the shoplifting shop at the same time that the family car was leaving the parking lot. The police followed the car. The police finally stuck the vehicle in the apartment complex of the family s babysitter.
A heated standoff ensues.
Cellphone videos taken witnesses show officers shouting blasphemies to the family as officers order to raise their hands. If they do not comply, an officer may be heard saying, "You are going to get shot at." Raise your hands in the air!
Police wrote in an incident report that she feared that the mother would "hide something" or search for a firearm (no weapons were recovered from the family).
In the parents' civil rights claim, they say when Harper stepped out of the vehicle, police injured his one-year-old daughter by pulling on one of his arms, while he did not want to follow him. order an officer to give his baby.
The family file alleges that Ames was thrown against a vehicle and was kicked so violently that it collapsed before a police officer "keeps his knee between the two." Father's legs, he hit the father very hard in the back for no reason. " The lawyer, Thomas Horne, wrote in the application.
Harper passed his baby to a passerby before the police handcuffed him with his fiancé and they were placed in a police car.
"I could have shot you in front of your kids," an officer told him, according to family reports.
Horne alleges that the incident violated the civil rights of the family by committing acts of violence, illegally imprisoning them and causing emotional distress to parents and their children. The claim claims $ 10 million in damages.
Since that happened, the 4-year-old family has had nightmares and wets its bed in distress, according to the record.
Phoenix Police Department Chief Jeri Williams told the public that an internal investigation was ongoing on the incident.
"Like you, I'm bothered by the language and actions of our officer," Williams said in a video posted by the police department on Facebook. "I assure you that this incident is not representative of the majority of Phoenix police officers who serve this city."
The doll has been returned to Family Dollar, officials said. And although no one was charged with the alleged stealing, the authorities issued Ames with a suspended driving license and seized vehicle.
His lawyer said he was limping to be assaulted by the police and that he now has no way to get to his job as a storekeeper.
Gallego, the mayor of Phoenix, said that in response to the incident, the city would speed up the implementation of surveillance cameras worn by the police force throughout the department of police. police. She also held a public meeting with the police chief of the community to express her thoughts on troubling images of police interaction.
"We owe it to our residents," she said. "To give them an open forum to discuss their concerns with us and propose solutions."