NBC News

Phoenix Chief Says Police Response to Incident With 4-Year-Old Is ‘Unacceptable'

One of the officers told Iesha Harper, "I could have shot you in front of your f------ kids," according to the claim filed by the family's lawyer

The police chief in Phoenix, Arizona, apologized Sunday for her department's "unacceptable" handling of an alleged shoplifting incident after a video showed police officers arresting and drawing a gun on a couple whose 4-year-old daughter had allegedly stolen a doll from a dollar store, NBC News reported

“What we saw in that video isn’t in keeping with good policing,” Jeri Williams told NBC affiliate KPNX. “This is not what should have happened in that circumstance.” 

The child’s parents, Dravon Ames and Iesha Harper, filed notice of a $10 million claim last week over the incident, which occurred on May 29 in a parking lot. Video captured by a bystander showed officers appearing to push and kick a handcuffed man believed to be Ames and handcuffing Harper, who is pregnant, after an unidentified woman came to take care of the couples’ two young daughters. 

"I felt like I did everything I could to show the officer that I was complying," Ames told Al Sharpton on MSNBC Saturday, adding that the experience was traumatizing for him and his young children. "I looked the barrel in the eyes, my kids looked the barrel in the eyes. I thought they were gonna start shooting."

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