Phoenix police are under fire after two videos show an officer cursing and threatening to shoot a pregnant mother after her 4-year-old daughter took a Barbie doll out of a local Family Dollar store.
According to 12 News, Dravon Ames and his fiancé Lesha Harper say city cops pointed guns at their heads while their 1-year-old and 4-year-old daughters watched. Apparently, an anonymous witness reported that the eldest daughter swiped a $5 Barbie doll from the discount store.
Ames claims that police followed them to a nearby apartment complex, but when Harper, who was in the backseat with her girls, told police the backseat didn’t open, that’s when the officer threatened to shoot her.
“I promise, it doesn’t open,” she tells the officer in the video.
“You’re going to f—— get shot!” the officer shouts back.
Later in the series of videos, which was recorded by two different bystanders, an officer slams Ames’ face against a police car, then kicks his legs apart, while another attempts to yank Harper’s 1-year-old daughter out of her arms, the Phoenix Times noted.
Both parents, who stress they were unaware their daughter had taken the doll, were detained but not arrested or taken to jail. That, and the Family Dollar Store is not pressing charges, 12 News noted.
Not surprisingly, both officers were not wearing body cams during the incident.
Phoenix police releasing this statement about the May 29 incident:
“On June 11, 2019, we were provided video of an officer taking two individuals into custody while investigating a shoplifting incident in the area of 3200 East Roosevelt Street. This occurred after the suspect vehicle was stopped a short distance from the scene of the theft. 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.”
In addition, they have yet release the names of the officers involved.
“The police officers committed battery, unlawful imprisonment, false arrest, infliction of emotional distress, and violation of civil rights under the fifth and 14th amendments of the United States Constitution,” the claim states.
The court doc also alleges that the officers physically harmed Ames when they punched him in the back of the head and they also dislocated their 1-year-old when she was yanked out of her mother’s arms.
“The first officer grabbed the mother and the baby around both of their necks, and tried to take the baby out of the mother’s hand. He told her to put the baby on the ground, which she was unwilling to do because the baby could not walk, and the ground consisted of hot pavement,” the notice read.
Ames also says because his car was impounded he could not go to work and lost wages to support his family, KTAR News wrote.
During a press conference, Harper stressed, “A police officer, we don’t know who he is, a guy, a random guy came up to the door banging on the window with a gun, says he’s going to shoot us in our face, telling us to get out of the car. He hasn’t alerted us that we’re being pulled over or anything,” Ames explained.
“It was just a very scary situation I never thought I’d be in,” adding, “Traumatizing for me and my daughters.”
The couple’s attorney, former Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, added that the officers violated his clients’ civil rights.
“Clearly, the officers felt empowered to be disrespectful and abusive “What we demand to know is, what kind of background these officers have? They held toddlers and a pregnant woman at gun point, grabbed a mother and infant by the neck, dislocated a 1 year old’s arm, endangered a delicate pregnancy, terrorized and tortured a young father, and nobody was charged or jailed. These officers must be held accountable. We want justice.”
Of course when the video surfaced on June 11, people took to social media to express their disgust and the ongoing epidemic of police brutality Black people in America continue to face:
This isn’t the first time Phoenix police have been accused of harboring racist cops.
Just last week, Officer Tim Baiardi, 44, was accused of slapping a man who was handcuffed at a Walmart. That, and it was revealed that Baiardi has a history of making bigoted and questionable social media posts.