Published: Sun, June 16, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Phoenix Police Report on Viral Incident Full of Glaring Omissions

Phoenix Police Report on Viral Incident Full of Glaring Omissions

A $10 million legal claim was filed against the City of Phoenix that says police officers committed civil rights violations by pointing guns and profanely yelling commands at the father and pregnant mother of two young daughters because one of the children took a doll at a dollar store without paying for it.

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. The first officer on the scene continues to curse, berate and threaten the couple as they are cuffed and placed into a patrol vehicle.

"You're going to get f-king shot!" an officer screamed, as Ames' face was slammed into a police auto and his legs violently kicked apart.

That's when the officer aggressively sweeps his leg, then yells, "If I tell you to do something, you [expletive] do it".

Once Ames was handcuffed and inside the patrol vehicle, the officers refocused their attention on Harper and the children, according to the claim. The officer reportedly also pointed his gun at Harper and her children. Upon arrival, Phoenix police confronted them.

Despite department rules that require police to wear body cameras, the Phoenix officers were not wearing them, the claim said.

"The Phoenix Police Department takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and for this reason, this incident is now being investigated by the Professional Standards Bureau", a police statement said. Police got a call that someone in the family had stolen a doll from a dollar store.

Ames claims that one of the officers punched him in the back while he had him pressed up against the police vehicle, causing him to suffer physical injuries that prohibit his ability to work.

In the video, Harper emotionally tells the officer that the baby could not walk and the ground was too hot to set her down.


Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said she was "disturbed by the language and the actions" of the officers.

The family involved in the incident is considering a lawsuit, and they've already lined up former Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne to represent them.

A video of the encounter has been circulated on social media.

Another officer appears to be pulling a gun on the passenger side of the couple's vehicle before Harper exits the auto, holding a small child, with a second child by her side. A pregnant mother and her two daughters step out of the vehicle. But Ames was given a traffic citation for driving on a suspended license.

The man, who appeared to be complying, said, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry".

"Our hands are up, we're just trying not to get shot, trying to stay calm", Ames said.

In the police report, officers allege the four-year-old girl's aunt was also shoplifting. Phoenix police officers were responsible for more than half of them.

The incident took place on May 29, the family said.

"I wish investigations could be handled instantly, but each one takes time and deserves the due diligence before we can discuss specific details", she said. Whether it means walking through a bloody police shooting to help a family find justice or showing the multifaceted talent of the Black Diaspora I write the news.

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