“My hands are up! My hands are up!” 22-year-old Dravon Ames says as a Phoenix police officer yells to “get your fucking hands up.” as chilling footage from May 29 encounter shows cops surround Dravon Ames and his family
The same officer later says “You’re gonna fucking get shot!” – Dravon Ames says the officers stopped him after his child walked out of a Dollar Store with a doll.
Moments later Phoenix police point guns at a black family and tell the father they’re ‘gonna put a f**king cap in your head’ after ‘his daughter, four, walked out of a store with a $1 Barbie doll’
Chilling footage from May 29 shows cops surround Dravon Ames and his family, threatining to kill them, his pregnant fiancée, AIesha Harper, 24, stands by in tears, pleading with officers and desperately holding onto her two young children as the horror unfolds
The incident is understood to have been sparked by accusations of a $1 theft
Two videos taken by onlookers show the full extent of the traumatizing encounter, that could have potentially turned tragic
In one clip officers can repeatedly be heard swearing in front of the youngsters – One officer says: ‘You’re gonna f***ing get shot’ and ‘put your f***ing hands up’
The family is now said to be seeking $10 million in damages from the police
Phoenix police say they are now investigating the incident in which neither Ames or Harper are thought to have been arrested
Evidence: Footage from May 29 shows cops surrounding Dravon Ames and his family with guns drawn. They tell the 22-year-old: ‘I’m gonna put a f***ing cap in your f***ing head’
His pregnant fiancée, AIesha Harper, 24, stands by in tears, pleading with officers and desperately holding onto her two young children as the horror unfolds.
She cries: ‘I can’t put my hands up, I have a baby. I’m pregnant.’
The incident is understood to have been sparked by accusations one of their young girls walked out of a dollar store with a $1 doll.
Two videos taken by onlookers show the full extent of the encounter between the young family and cops.
In one clip officers can repeatedly be heard swearing in front of the youngsters, telling their parents to ‘put your f***ing hands up’ . One can be heard saying: ‘You’re gonna f***ing get shot.’
Ames frantically tells them: ‘My hands are up. My hands are up.’
In a lawsuit they claim police ‘grabbed the mother and the baby around both of their necks, and tried to take the baby out of the mother’s hand’. It adds: ‘Island [the couple’s 1-year-old child] has been having nightmares and wetting her bed, which she has not done before this incident.’
Dravon Ames seen at a press conference on June 12 , is seeking $10 million in damages from the police . Former Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne representing the family
Shocking footage of a Phoenix police officer telling a 22-year-old man, “I’m gonna put a fucking cap in your fucking head” has sparked backlash against a department already reeling from the revelation last week of racist social media posts from officers.
Dravon Ames, the man and family in the video and his pregnant fiancée, AIesha Harper, and their two young children, have filed a notice of claim against the city of Phoenix. The family is seeking $10 million in damages. Former Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is representing the family.
“The police officers committed battery, unlawful imprisonment, false arrest, infliction of emotional distress, and violation of civil rights under the fifth and 14th amendments of the United States Constitution,” the claim states.
Video of the May 29 encounter with Phoenix police near 36th and Roosevelt streets show several Phoenix police officers, some with guns drawn, surrounding the car of the couple and their two young children. It’s unclear what preceded the encounter, but Ames said it all began after their daughter walked out of a Family Dollar store with a doll.
In the video, officers can be heard screaming and cursing at the couple in front of their children to “put your fucking hands up.” One officer can be seen pointing a gun at the car with the children inside, while another can be heard saying, “You’re gonna fucking get shot!”
At one point, an officer slams Ames’ face against a police car, then kicks his legs apart. Meanwhile, another officer attempts to yank Harper’s 1-year-old daughter out of her arms.
According to the notice of claim, the officer also punched Ames in the back while he had him pressed up against the police vehicle. Ames, who works at a warehouse, said he has suffered physical injuries as a result of the encounter.
The family also alleges that one of the officers injured their 1-year-old child when he attempted to yank the baby out of Harper’s arms.
“The first officer grabbed the mother and the baby around both of their necks, and tried to take the baby out of the mother’s hand. He told her to put the baby on the ground, which she was unwilling to do because the baby could not walk, and the ground consisted of hot pavement,” the notice of claim states.
“The first officer pulled the baby by the arm to get her away from the mother, which injured the arm, in a condition known as ‘dead arm.’ Island [the couple’s 1-year-old child] has been having nightmares and wetting her bed, which she has not done before this incident,” it states.
Harper also alleges one of the officers told her he “could have shot you in front of your fucking kids” while she was detained and handcuffed in the back of a police car.
Phoenix police say they’re investigating the incident, but did not respond to emails from Phoenix New Times asking for an interview with Chief Jeri Williams and for the names of the officers involved. Ames believes the especially aggressive officer’s last name may be Meyer, Meyers, or Myers, according to the notice of claim.
Phoenix police commented to ABC15 (KNXV-TV) that the officer who cursed, threatened, and roughed up Ames is on a “non-enforcement assignment.” The other officer who pointed a gun at Harper and her children inside the vehicle remains on patrol.
Footage of the incident spread quickly online and sparked backlash, with dozens of people, including a few state lawmakers, criticizing the department for having officers on the force as irrationally aggressive as the ones seen in the video.
“We’re thinking we’re gonna get shot cause he kept threatening, ‘I’m gonna shoot you in the face,'” Ames told New Times on Wednesday “We were so scared.”
Two videos recorded by residents of the apartment complex begin in the middle of the encounter. It is unclear from the videos what preceded it or why the officers are using such force to detain the couple. The Phoenix Police Department has not provided any additional information about the incident, but did confirm in a statement on Facebook that the interaction was prompted by a “shoplifting incident.”
The Phoenix Police Department is investigating after an officer was caught on cell phone video sweeping a man’s leg after handcuffing him, while another officer pointed a gun at a pregnant mother and her two daughters.
Ames told New Times he had just pulled into the parking lot of an apartment complex to drop off his kids with a babysitter when Phoenix police officers surrounded the car and told them to get out. Ames alleges that Phoenix police approached him because, unbeknownst to him, his daughter had walked out of the nearby Family Dollar holding a doll from the store. Someone at the store told an officer on security detail that his daughter had stolen from the store, he said.
He also said that despite being detained for a time in the back of police vehicles, both he and Harper were not arrested or ticketed.
Around 2 p.m. on Friday, the Phoenix Police Department released a statement containing more information about the events preceding the altercation. The statement indicates the officers did not believe the family to be in possession of any weapons. Police say they pursued the family because they allegedly stole food and underwear from a dollar store.
“On May 27, 2019, at approximately 11:17 a.m., a Phoenix Police Officer was investigating an unrelated shoplifting at a store in the area of 1600 N. 36th Street, when he was advised by store employees of another shoplifting. The officer was directed to some individuals who were getting into a vehicle. He observed a woman drop a “food foil,” when she saw him. As he walked towards the vehicle, the car quickly backed up and started to leave parking lot. It stopped at McDowell Road, and one of the women got out and the car drove away. The woman was detained by the officer. It was later found the woman he detained had three misdemeanor warrants for her arrest. She was later booked for the warrants.
A description of the vehicle was broadcasted over the radio. The vehicle was located a short distance from the store near 32nd Street and McDowell Road and followed it was followed into the parking lot of an apartment complex in the area of 3200 E. Roosevelt Street, where a man and woman in the car were taken into custody and detained. After being advised of her rights, the woman who had been detained, said her aunt and child went into the store and when she saw her child walk out of the store with a doll, she believed they had stolen it, because they didn’t have any money.
She heard the officer who approached the car in the parking lot tell the driver to stop several times, but he didn’t. After being advised of his rights, the man said he knew they had shoplifted from the store and that he threw a pair of underwear out the window, because he knew they were stolen. In addition, he stated he knew he was driving on a suspended driver license. Because the property was returned, the store employees said they did not desire prosecution, so no one was charged with the shoplifting. The man however, was cited and his vehicle was impounded, due to his driving on a suspended license.”
As Ames is held against a police car his partner desperately tells police she is unable to lift her arms as she is carrying her one-year-old baby. At least one child can be heard crying as they are taken to safety by witnesses.
The officer screams: ‘If I tell you to do something you f***ing do it.’
Ames replies: ‘Yes, sir.’
In the second clip onlookers call out to ask to take the children away to avoid them from seeing their parents being detained.
The family is now said to be seeking $10 million in damages from the police with former Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne representing them.
Ames told The Phoenix New Times: ‘We’re thinking we’re gonna get shot cause he kept threatening, “I’m gonna shoot you in the face”. We were so scared.’
It is understood the parents had just pulled into the parking lot to leave their children with a babysitter when their car was surrounded.
Ames said: ‘A police officer, we don’t know who he is, a guy, random guy came up to the door banging on the window with a gun, says he’s going to shoot us in our face, telling us to get out of the car. He hasn’t alerted us that we’re being pulled over anything.
‘If you look at the video pretty good I’m snatched out the car and I fly back and that’s when he grabs me out the car. My hands were up the whole time.’
Neither Ames or Harper are thought to have been arrested.
Two videos taken by onlookers show the full extent of the shocking encounter. In one clip officers can repeatedly be heard swearing in front of the youngsters.
Their claim states: ‘The police officers committed battery, unlawful imprisonment, false arrest, infliction of emotional distress, and violation of civil rights under the fifth and 14th amendments of the United States Constitution.
‘The first officer grabbed the mother and the baby around both of their necks, and tried to take the baby out of the mother’s hand. He told her to put the baby on the ground, which she was unwilling to do because the baby could not walk, and the ground consisted of hot pavement.
‘The first officer pulled the baby by the arm to get her away from the mother, which injured the arm, in a condition known as ‘dead arm.’ Island [the couple’s 1-year-old child] has been having nightmares and wetting her bed, which she has not done before this incident.’
Arizona senator Martín Quezada has condemned the footage on Twitter, writing: ‘This is everything that’s wrong with #LawEnforcement today. My #LD29 #Maryvale community deserves better than this type of inexcusable and unjustifiable rage and abuse of power from the @phoenixpolice.’
Phoenix police say they are now investigating the incident.
They told KNXV-TV the officer who swore is on a ‘non-enforcement assignment.’ The other officer who drew his gun is understood to still be on patrol.
In a statement on their Facebook page police wrote: ‘On June 11, 2019, we were provided video of an officer taking two individuals into custody while investigating a shoplifting incident in the area of 3200 East Roosevelt Street.
‘This occurred after the suspect vehicle was stopped a short distance from the scene of the theft. It involved a man and a woman with two small children. Please be advised, there is some language which might be considered offensive. The video is intentionally blurred for redaction purposes.
‘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.’