Phoenix police are under fire after video recently released shows an officer yelling 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 video, which was recorded by a bystander, an officer slams Ames’ face against a police car, then kicks his legs apart, while another officer 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.
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.”
They have yet to release the name of the officer 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 hurt 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 the couple and former Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne,
“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.”
Of course when the video of the incident began circulating, people on social media expressed their disgust:
This isn’t the first time Phoenix police have been accused of having a racism problem.
Just last week, Officer Tim Baiardi, 44, was accused of slapping a man who was handcuffed at a Walmart. That, and he has a history of bigoted and questionable social media posts over the years.