A couple from Phoenix has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the city after video surfaced of police officers drawing a gun on them after their four-year-old daughter allegedly walked out of a store with a doll.
Dravon Ames and his partner Iesha Harper, left a dollar store on May 29 with their two daughters, ages 1 and 4, and made their way to their babysitter at a nearby apartment complex. Upon arrival, Phoenix police confronted them.
On Tuesday (June 11), police released video that was shot by a bystander showing an officer appearing to push a handcuffed Ames against the side of a car and kicking his legs.
Other officers could be seen handcuffing Harper after an unidentified woman came to take away her two children.
“When I tell you to do something, you f*****g do it!” an officer can be heard screaming at the man. Ames then appeared to be complying as he was picked off the ground and thrown against a patrol car. The officer then repeated: “When I tell you to do something, you f*****g do it!”
At a news conference held this week, Harper said she tried to explain to officers that she was in the backseat with her kids and couldn’t immediately remove herself from her vehicle.
“We’re yelling out, ‘The door doesn’t open that side. It doesn’t open.’ Obviously, I don’t have a gun with two kids in my hands,” she said.
According to the claim filed by family lawyer Thomas Horne, one of the officers told Harper, “I could have shot you in front of your f*****g kids.”
The family also says a police officer threatened that they’d “put a f*****g cap” in the “f*****g head” of the 22-year-old father, the Phoenix New Times reports.
Phoenix police say they are reviewing the case. “The Phoenix Police Department takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and for this reason, this incident is currently being investigated by the Professional Standards Bureau,” a police statement read.
The claim filed by Ames and Harper allege that the officers committed battery, unlawful imprisonment (after the two were reportedly arrested and taken into custody), false arrest and other civil rights violations. The family is seeking $10 million in damages – $2.5 million for each person in the car at the start of the incident.
The Phoenix police have not released the name of the officer.