A Phoenix couple is reportedly suing that city for $10 million, alleging they were unlawfully arrested after their 4-year-old daughter stole a doll from a store.
A video has emerged of a frightening encounter between a Black couple with children and officers with the Phoenix, Arizona, police department. "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". Ames repeatedly says, "My hands are up!"
"You're going to f-- get shot!" the officer shouts back. The officer threw Ames against the vehicle, ordered him to spread his legs and "kicked him in the right leg so hard that the father collapsed".
According to the suit, Ames was pulled out of the vehicle, kicked in the right leg and punched in the back - all while Harper, who is pregnant, and her 4-year-old and 1-year-old daughter remained in the auto. The officer then repeated: "When I tell you to do something, you f*****g do it!"
The report does mention how the officer instructed the mother, Iesha Harper, to "set the child down in the shaded area".
The officer approached the vehicle, but it backed out of the parking space and headed out of the lot.
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 vehicle". She had three outstanding misdemeanor warrants and was booked, police said.
The Phoenix police have not released the name of the officer.
A police patrol unit followed the couple's auto, and once the family pulled into their babysitter's apartment complex, an officer approached the vehicle with his gun drawn and yanked open the front door, the claim said. Police are heard shouting at them to get out of the vehicle, while the woman is saying that the door by her seat does not open because it is stuck. "I made him spread his feet".
At one point in the witness video, Meyer can be heard yelling "I'm gonna f***ing put a cap right in your f***ing head". Eventually he threw Harper, who had handed the children to a bystander, into the police vehicle face first, then handcuffed her.
Dravon got out of the vehicle, Meyer wrote, but Meyer failed to document the fact that he forced Ames against the hot pavement to handcuff him, slammed him against his patrol auto, and kicked him in the legs - after he was already handcuffed. She chose to give her two children to a "complete stranger because I didn't trust the police to have her".
"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".
Harper eventually handed her kids off to an unidentified woman before being cuffed herself. "She stated that she is very sorry for her behavior and that it was not appropriate", Meyer wrote. He told the officers "He was scared when he saw the police officer and he wanted to leave". He also allegedly admitted to throwing a pair of "stolen underwear" out the window.
Ames told New Times the only thing that was "stolen" was the doll his daughter walked out with. But Ames was given a traffic citation for driving on a suspended license. Police impounded his vehicle.
Harper, who was five months pregnant at the time, said she was terrified. Following the review of the surveillance, store employees advised they did not desire prosecution. That's when they said a police auto silently pulled up behind them and an officer went up to Ames and allegedly pointed a gun at him.
Ames, who works at a warehouse, said he has suffered physical injuries as a result of the encounter.
An officer is seen attempting to yank the child from her arms before a bystander offers to take her children.
"The first officer pulled the baby by the arm to get her away from the mother, which injured the arm, in a condition known as 'dead arm.' Island [the couple's 1-year-old child] has been having nightmares and wetting her bed, which she has not done before this incident", the notice of claim states. The police department has not named any of the officers involved.
"And the minute he saw that there were children involved, that's when he holstered his weapon", said Sgt. Tommy Thompson of Phoenix Police.
Police say the incident happened May 27. She previously worked for the Miami New Times.
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