An Arizona family is suing the city of Phoenix for $10million after the horrifying incident where officers held a five months pregnant woman and her two little girls – at gunpoint after their four-year-old daughter is said to have walked out of a store with a $1 doll.
Parents Dravon Ames and Iesha Harper said a Phoenix Police Department officer injured their one-year-old daughter during the terrifying moment last month by pulling on one of her arms after the mother refused a command to put the child down. Harper said the girl couldn’t walk and the pavement was hot.
Footage shows cops, some with guns drawn, telling 22-year-old Dravon Ames: ‘I’m gonna put a f***ing cap in your f***ing head’ as they surround him and his loved ones.
Harper said she was handcuffed after she gave the child to a bystander and thrown face-first into a police vehicle.
The officer who pulled on the child’s arm had profanely told Harper that he could have shot her in front of her children.
The notice of claim – a precursor to a lawsuit – filed Wednesday also said Ames was injured when officers are said to have committed civil rights violations by pointing guns and profanely yelling commands at the parents.
An officer is accused of throwing Ames against a vehicle, kicking his leg so hard that Ames collapsed and punching him for no reason. The claim said one of the officers profanely told Ames in front of his children that he was going to shoot him in the face.
Parents Dravon Ames and Iesha Harper are suing the city of Phoenix for $10million
Chilling footage from May 29 shows cops surround 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’
‘No threat, no resistance,’ said Tom Horne, an attorney representing the family. ‘It was completely unjustified.’
The former state Attorney General added: ‘We’re talking about a little doll that’s worth maybe $5 and the horrors that came from the overreaction to that.’
Police said no injuries were reported to them and claimed other stolen items were in the car.
‘After this my daughters will never been the same. It seems police are always out for blood,’ Harper said in a press conference,
Chief Williams said in a Friday video that she ‘gets it’ when addressing the alarmed public response to the footage that police say is from May 27 but the family’s claim dates as May 29. She also said she stands behind the force as they continue to investigate.
‘I, like you, am disturbed by the language and the actions of our officer. I assure you that this incident is not representative of the majority of Phoenix police officers who serve this city,’ she told video viewers.
His pregnant fiancée, Iesha 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.’
The notice of claim filed Wednesday also said father Ames was injured in the incident
‘After this my daughters will never been the same. It seems police are always out for blood,’ Harper said in a press conference
Ames’ brother posted on Facebook Thursday asking for people to allow him to heal ‘mentally and emotionally’
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.
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
His pregnant fiancée, Iesha Harper, 24, stands by in tears, pleading with officers and desperately holding onto her two young children as the horror unfolds
Reporter Meg O’Connor tweeted about the incident, posting the videos online
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.
The family is now said to be seeking $10 million in damages from the police who say they are investigating the incident in which neither Ames or Harper are thought to have been arrested
The footage has been condemned online. 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’
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.’
DailyMail.com has contacted Phoenix police for comment.