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On May 27, 2019, Phoenix Arizona police threatened to shoot, assaulted, and endangered the lives of a family including small children. We call for these police officers to be fully removed from the force immediately without pay; for law enforcement to arrest them promptly; and for prosecutors to prepare a robust case against the officers on a number of charges – as well as making some form of substantial financial compensation to the family.
Phoenix police responding to a prior dollar store theft were allegedly told by staff that Dravon Ames, 22, Iesha Harper, 24, were in possession of stolen goods (allegedly a doll taken by a 4 year old). The family and an unidentified woman are alleged to have driven away while police asked them to stop. The unidentified woman apparently exited the car and was arrested before the unacceptable, violent drama unfolded.
One video circulating in mainstream press including ABC shows officers with guns drawn yelling ‘you’re going to get f**king shot’ at pregnant Harper, two small children, and demanding that she put her hands up – while she was holding a child – which she was forced to hand over to a complete stranger. The police were at the scene about a previous earlier theft, but apparently on the say-so of the dollar store personnel, they decided drawing guns on a family, assaulting, shouting and threatening them was the way to deal with an alleged shoplifting misdemeanor. Why the store staff didn’t confront the family before they left the store has not been explained, but One Pulse will be asking.
Police Chief Jeri Williams and Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego both offered apologies after a fashion, but with Williams undoing her statement by saying ‘… but there is more to the story…’ it is far from an acceptable situation. One Pulse will be asking what precisely that story is that required guns drawn on a family with officers threatening to shoot them over alleged petty theft.
As it stands the police involved seem to have only been put on desk duty. According to the family’s attorney, Tom Horne, said: “The police officers committed battery, unlawful imprisonment, false arrest, infliction of emotional distress, and violation of civil rights…” Jay-z is funding the legal fees for the family.
From the video
Images from ABC News video; top shows police kicking Mr Ames’ legs out from under him; image below shows Ms Harper forced to hand her child over to a complete stranger as she is cuffed.
Please watch the video on this link and read the article, or read other related articles to be familiar with the case.
Next, please contact the following individuals through one of the channels listed below and give the following message, personalized to your liking:
I was absolutely furious to learn that Arizona police officers pulled a gun on two children, a pregnant woman and her fiance over what apparently amounted to resisting arrest.
Whether or not a third woman who may or may not have been with the couple, Dravon Ames, 22 and Iesha Harper, 24, earlier was wanted by the police, the video footage being watched around the world shows two white officers threatening to ‘f***king shoot’ the adults, assaulting Ames, threatening a pregnant woman and terrorizing children: allegedly over a petty theft.
Without any delay, we demand the police involved be arrested and charged with what surely seems, as defence council claims, committed battery, unlawful imprisonment, false arrest, infliction of emotional distress, and violation of civil rights: presuming the State of Arizona finds these as serious as its officers finds alleged dollar-store theft. We also want without delay any and all charges dropped against the couple, an investigation into how the officers were trained, an explanation from the store staff as to what they did to confront the family before they left the store about any alleged shoplifting. We also want Police Chief Williams to explain what ‘more there is to the story’ that warranted assault, firearms drawn, and a pregnant woman forced to hand over a small child to a stranger. We’re waiting.
The state owes more than a half-hearted, partially retracted apology to this family, and we want a minimum of a five figure sum, to be agreed with their lawyer, to be paid to them forthwith. We also want assurances that none of those who filmed the outrageous behaviour of your police to have any action whatsoever taken against them. We demand assurances from Arizona that any such approaches to threaten, jail, intimidate or in any way interfere with the video filmers will not happen whatsoever.
Finally, one reason that your officers claim to have drawn weapons is that they feared the couple might have been armed. We now demand that your state legislature re-think your cavalier gun laws as they clearly have been shown to escalate officer responses – to an alleged petty theft – before any more tragic shootings by your officers, who obviously need re-training, occurs.
We will demand your answers and your actions; we will follow-up on this campaign and we hold all officials involved responsible for this life-threatening attack. If you don’t act, you will be responsible for any subsequent deaths; if you don’t act, we will campaign until there is justice for this family, and we will campaign to oust anyone from office who is not working for justice for this family and to prevent further such illegal, violent, deadly police acts.
Phoenix Police / Police Chief Williams
Email: Chief of Police (form)
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego
Email: Mayor (form)
After you contact Williams or Gallego, click the orange banner at the top of this page to report your action!