The mayor of Phoenix apologized for the "terrifying" video confrontation between police officers, a black couple in the area and their two young children – which went viral this weekend and sparked cries of racism.
"Like many others, I'm sick of what I saw in the video illustrating the Phoenix police's interaction with a family," said Mayor Kate Gallego. in a statement posted on Twitter.
"It was completely inappropriate and clearly unprofessional," added Gallego. "There is no situation in which this behavior is almost acceptable. As a mother myself, seeing these children in such a terrifying situation is simply disturbing. I am deeply sorry that this family has lived and I apologize to our community. "
Residents of Phoenix, Dravon Ames and Iesha Harper, filed a $ 10 million civil suit against the city, claiming that the police illegally arrested them on suspicion of stealing from the store after the police arrested them. one of their daughter's girls stole a Barbie doll from a family.
A video on cell phone shows police officers who insult Ames and curse him while Harper – who is pregnant – looks with their two children aged 1 and 4.
"That's not what we are," said Gallego, "and I refuse to let this type of behavior continue. I spoke directly to our Chief of Police, the City Manager and the Chair of the Public Safety Subcommittee. First, we are accelerating the establishment of body surveillance cameras in our police force … Secondly, this Tuesday, June 18, I called for a community meeting about this incident. "
Gallego said that she had asked police chief Jeri Williams to "listen directly" to the concerns of community members. The highest police in the city has already condemned the May 29 incident as "extremely disturbing".
"It's disturbing … and certainly not representative of the 2,900 officers we have in Phoenix," Williams told reporters Sunday.
"We owe it to our residents to provide an open forum for them to discuss their concerns and propose solutions," added Gallego. "I recognize that in order to get to the bottom of things and implement meaningful changes, we will have painful and uncomfortable conversations. These conversations must continue until each of our residents feels safe in our community. "