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Phoenix Police Threaten to Shoot a Pregnant Woman After Her Daughter Reportedly Stole a Doll
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=46531"><span class="small">Molly Olmstead, Slate</span></a>   
Sunday, 16 June 2019 08:22

Olmstead writes: "An Arizona couple has filed a $10 million claim against the city of Phoenix after several police officers there repeatedly threatened to shoot them during a physically aggressive encounter."

Iesha Harper moves to hand her children off to a neighbor as police try to arrest her. (photo: Twitter/@megoconnor13)
Iesha Harper moves to hand her children off to a neighbor as police try to arrest her. (photo: Twitter/@megoconnor13)

Phoenix Police Threaten to Shoot a Pregnant Woman After Her Daughter Reportedly Stole a Doll

By Molly Olmstead, Slate

16 June 19


n Arizona couple has filed a $10 million claim against the city of Phoenix after several police officers there repeatedly threatened to shoot them during a physically aggressive encounter. The scene erupted after the couple’s 4-year-old daughter allegedly stole a doll from a dollar store, according to the Arizona Republic.

Videos of the May 29 incident, which circulated more recently on social media, show a pregnant woman—24-year-old Iesha Harper—struggling to obey police orders to leave her car as she holds her two small children. At one point, while the children are still in the vehicle, a police officer can be seen pointing a gun at the car as another yells, “You’re going to fucking get shot.”

At another point, one of the officers shouts at the girl’s father, 22-year-old Dravon Ames, “I’m going to put a fucking cap in your fucking head.”

According to Ames, the incident started when police (who appear in the videos to be mostly white) approached Ames and Harper (who appear black) after they had parked at their babysitter’s apartment complex. Before the encounter, someone anonymously called the police to report that the couple’s daughter had stolen a doll from a nearby Family Dollar. The couple believes the daughter took the toy by accident. Ames says in the filing that the officers hadn’t used their lights or sirens before walking over to their parked car.

In a video that a resident of the apartment complex recorded, an officer can be seen pointing his gun and shouting at Ames and Harper—who are inside the car with their daughters, ages 1 and 4—to get out. In the claim, Ames says that an officer walked to the backseat door but couldn’t open it because it was broken. He adds that the officer then slammed his fist against the window and told Harper to open the door and put her hands up.

“Get your fucking hands up!” the officer shouts repeatedly in one video, with his gun raised. “I’m going to put a fucking cap in your fucking head.” She shouts at the officers that she can’t open the door. “I promise, it doesn’t open,” Ames can be heard saying. “You’re going to fucking get shot,” an officer screams at him in response.

When Harper complains in the same video that she has her children with her, one officer replies, “I don’t fucking care, put your hands up.” Harper, audibly in distress, repeats: “I can’t put my hands up, I have a fucking baby in my arms, I can’t, I’m pregnant.”

According to the claim, one of the officers told Harper, “I could have shot you in front of your fucking kids.”

Meanwhile, the filing says, another officer pointed his gun at Ames in the front seat and pulled him out of the car. Another video shows Ames lying on the ground while an officer handcuffs him. According to the claim, the officer then stood Ames up, told him to spread his legs, and kicked him in his right leg. (One of the videos shows the kick.) The claim reports that Ames then collapsed, and the officer pulled him back up again, before punching him in the back as he pushed him against the police vehicle.

“When I tell you to do something, you fucking do it!” an officer can be heard shouting at the handcuffed Ames in one bystander video. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Ames says. The officer pushes him against the vehicle and repeats the same line. “You’re not compliant with me,” the officer screams. “I am,” Ames says, in what seems to be a confused voice.

Around the same time, the complaint recounts, when Harper stepped out of the car, one of the officers tried to take one of her daughters from her as he took Harper into custody. In the filing, she says he ordered her to place her 1-year-old daughter on the hot pavement, and that she refused. In the video, as the officers surround her and she holds the 4-year-old by the hand and the 1-year-old in her arms, she says, while crying, “This is all for nothing.” She hands off her children to another woman at the apartment complex to allow the police to handcuff her.

In their claim—which the couple filed Thursday, requesting $2.5 million in compensation for each family member—Harper and Ames say the police officers’ actions amounted to battery, unlawful imprisonment, false arrest, and a violation of their civil rights that left them with emotional distress. They claim the officer harmed their 1-year-old daughter when they pulled her arm and harmed Ames when they arrested him.

The couple also say they kept Ames in the back of the police car for a half-hour and that they were only released after another police lieutenant arrived at the scene. Neither was formally arrested or charged with a crime.

Phoenix police, who have not released the officers’ names, have said they are investigating the incident. “The Phoenix Police Department takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and for this reason, this incident is currently being investigated by the Professional Standards Bureau,” the police statement said. Phoenix told ABC 15 that the officer who cursed at, threatened, and kicked Ames is on a “non-enforcement assignment.” The officer who pointed a gun at Harper and her children inside the vehicle remains on patrol.

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+20 # indian weaving 2019-06-16 09:22
I'm betting these fascist Nazi storm troopers destroying Phoenix and in fact the entire nation and all of our lives will walk and do it again, and again ...
+6 # skylinefirepest 2019-06-16 12:28
The bad eggs in the country's police are giving the good guys a bad d at least part of the problem is that when this crap goes on the chief's ignore or justify it! Innocent people are getting hurt and it's coming to a boil!
+2 # Dave_s Not Here 2019-06-16 18:55
Good Guys??? The so-called "good guy" cops who allow and condone this behaviour aren't good guys. They are Bad Guy enablers and thus co-conspirators .
+4 # wilhelmscream 2019-06-16 12:49
+9 # BetaTheta 2019-06-16 13:32
The present mindset of much of "law enforcement" these days seems to be "shock and awe." I suspect they get a lot of it from the televised violence of our endless wars, wherein such behavior is glorified as something natural to "heroes."

And of course, "tough guy" Trump and his ilk feed this thinking down the pipeline to all the other weak-minded wanna-be authoritarian goons.
+8 # PABLO DIABLO 2019-06-16 13:44
Disgraceful. All these officers and their Supervisors need to be fired and criminal charges filed against them. NOW.
+10 # jsluka 2019-06-16 14:55
American cops are out of control. Is it any wonder more and more people consider them "the enemy of the people"?
+2 # Dave_s Not Here 2019-06-16 18:57
Yes, but what the cops do is driven by the politicians. They are the REAL enemy of the people.
+3 # dotlady 2019-06-16 19:23
Who are cops like this? Lost souls with no real purpose in life, ready with a reason from some internal anger to beat people up.
The weakest and the dumbest. I'm not talking about all cops, but these out of control racist fearful psychopaths. We need a government to restore civil policing.
+3 # elizabethblock 2019-06-16 20:57
Were these cops trained in Israel? A lot of American police forces send officers to be trained there. That would explain why they treat the people they're supposed to "serve and protect" as the enemy.