Couple want officers fired who pointed guns over shoplifting
By ANITA SNOW Associated Press
June 17, 2019 01:38 PM
Dravon Ames, left, and Iesha Harper pause as they listen to a question during a news conference at Phoenix City Hall, Monday, June 17, 2019, in Phoenix. Ames and his pregnant fiancée, Harper, who had guns aimed at them by Phoenix police during a response to a shoplifting report say they don’t accept the apologies of the city’s police chief and mayor and want the officers involved to be fired.
Ross D. Franklin
A man and his pregnant fiancée said Monday that they want Phoenix to fire the officers who pointed guns and yelled profanities at them after their 4-year-old daughter took a doll from a store.
Dravon Ames and Iesha Harper, who are both black, said at a news conference that they don’t accept the apologies of the city’s police chief and mayor and have not received a face-to-face apology since a bystander’s video emerged and drew outcry.
The video released Friday shows officers aiming guns and yelling profane commands to a man and a pregnant woman holding a baby. The race of the officers investigating a shoplifting report last month is not known.
Ames and Harper say their daughter had stolen a doll from a store without their knowledge. They have filed a $10 million claim against the city alleging civil rights violations by officers.
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Harper is six months pregnant, and the couple said their 4- and 1-year-old daughters witnessed the encounter.
The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association is urging calm, saying in a statement that the police union will not form an opinion until an official investigation is complete.
Mayor Kate Gallego posted an apology to the family Saturday on Twitter. Police Chief Jeri Williams, a black woman, spoke out Friday on Twitter about how the incident was handled and then apologized to the family, community and public during a television interview Sunday.
The city has organized a community meeting about the encounter Tuesday.