Phoenix police officers were caught on video pulling guns on a family and allegedly roughing up one of the parents after their 4-year-old daughter left a store without paying for a $1 doll, NBC News reports.
Dravon Ames and Iesha Harper have filed a $10 million lawsuit against the City of Phoenix over the May 29 incident. The couple claims that they had been shopping at a dollar store — that is, a store where all of the merchandise is priced at exactly one dollar – and were driving away when they realized that their 4-year-old daughter had taken a toy doll without paying for it.
They drove to an apartment complex where the girl’s babysitter lived. There, Phoenix police eventually showed up and confronted the family. What happened next is unclear, but by the time a bystander started filming video of the incident, an officer had pulled a gun on Ames and appeared to be roughing him up.
The video appears to show an officer shoving a handcuffed man, allegedly Ames, up against a squad car and kicking his legs apart.
“When I tell you to do something, you f—— do it!” an officer could be heard yelling.
Then, the officer appears to pick up Ames and throw him to the ground, even though he appeared to be complying.
You can watch one of two known videos of the incident, both recorded by bystanders, below. But be warned: this video contains strong language and violent content.
As for Harper, she was apparently reluctant to get out of the car while the two children were in it, even as an officer allegedly threatened to “shoot [her] in front of [her] f–king kids,” says the family’s attorney, Thomas Horne. “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.
In their lawsuit, the family claims that the officers committed battery, unlawful imprisonment, false arrest, as well as other civil rights violations. Further, the suit claims the officers were acting on an “anonymous tip” and not on a complaint from the store’s manager.
Valley Minister Jarrett Maupin and former AZ AG Tom Horne announce a $10 million lawsuit against the City of Phoenix over Police brutality towards an African American family. More after the game tonight @abc15 pic.twitter.com/GOtM5QEiau— PhotogKaran (@KaranDeardorff) June 13, 2019
The family is suing for $10 million: $2.5 million each for each of the two children and the two parents.
In a statement, the Phoenix Police Department confirmed that it is conducting its own internal review of the incident via its Professional Standards Bureau. The department declined to comment specifically on the lawsuit, however.