Video has surfaced of police holding a family with kids at gunpoint over a toy doll outside an apartment complex in Phoenix, Arizona on May 29, 2018 (more video below).
The Phoenix New Times notes officers surrounded a parked car occupied by “22-year-old Dravon Ames and his pregnant fiancée, 24-year-old Aisha Harper” who had two young children in the car.
The officers told the family to “put your fucking hands up” and “You’re gonna fucking get shot!”
One officer slammed Ames’ face against a police car, and kicked his legs apart. A second officer attempted to yank Harper’s 2-year-old daughter out of her arms.
Ames recalled the horrifying moments:
We’re thinking we’re gonna get shot cause he kept threatening, “I’m gonna shoot you in the face.” We were so scared.
The Phoenix New Times reports Ames’ side of the story, which appears to be backed up by the video:
Ames [said] he had just pulled into the parking lot of an apartment complex to drop off his kids with a babysitter when Phoenix police officers surrounded the car and told them to get out. Ames alleges that Phoenix police approached him because, unbeknownst to him, his daughter had walked out of the nearby Family Dollar holding a doll from the store.
Ames says someone at the store told an officer on security detail that his daughter had stolen from the store, and that’s why police approached him in the parking lot. He also said that despite being detained in the back of police vehicles, both he and Harper were not arrested or ticketed. He says they were released without charges after a lieutenant came and defused the situation.
The Phoenix New Times notes: “Court records do not show that Harper or Ames were arrested that day… [We] checked court records to determine if there was a reason (like an open warrant for a serious crime) that could explain why so many officers responded to a little girl stealing a doll from a dollar store in such an aggressive manner, but there was not.”
The Phoenix Police Department refused to answer emails and phone calls , but did release a statement on Facebook, which claimed a theft:
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. It involved a man and a woman with two small children.