Police pull gun on couple after 4-year-old takes doll from store

A couple in Arizona are suing the state for $10m (£8m) after a police officer pulled a gun on them over their daughter’s alleged theft of a doll from a dollar store.

Dravon Ames, 22, and his pregnant fiancee Iesha Harper, 24, say they didn’t realise their four-year-old daughter had taken a doll during their visit to a Family Dollar shop in Phoenix.

After leaving the shop, the family drove to their babysitter’s apartment complex, where their vehicle was surrounded by police.

An officer appears to point a weapon at the vehicle, which contains Ms Harper and her two children
Image: An officer appears to point a weapon at the vehicle, which contains Ms Harper and her two children

Videos of the incident, which happened in late May, show officers telling the couple to put their hands up and get out.

An officer appears to shout: “I’m gonna put a f****** cap inside your f****** a**, while another moves in front of the camera, pointing a weapon at the vehicle.

When Ms Harper says she is unable to put her hands up because of her accompanying one-year-old and four-year-old children, the officer says: “I don’t give a s***, put your hands up”.

Ms Harper then says: “I can’t put my hands up, I have a f****** baby in my arms. I can’t, I’m pregnant.”

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She eventually steps out of the vehicle carrying her one-year-old, while a separate officer walks over and appears to try and take the child from her arms.

According to the family’s complaint, the officer had ordered that she place the child on the hot pavement, which she refused to do.

The complaint also said the officer told Ms Harper he “could have shot you in front of your f****** kids”.

Meanwhile, an officer is seen in other videos pushing Mr Ames against a police car, before kicking his right leg from under him, causing Mr Ames to briefly collapse.

The officer shouts: “When I tell you to do something, you f****** do it,” to which Mr Ames replies: “I am, I’m complying with everything you say.”

The family’s lawyer, Tom Horne, said of the incident: “We’re talking about a little doll that’s worth maybe $5 and the horrors that came from the overreaction to that.”

Phoenix Police Department has said it was “disturbed” by the videos, and has opened an investigation into the incident.

In a statement released on Sunday, the department said the family had acknowledged their daughter may have stolen the doll because “they didn’t have any money”.

But officers say Mr Ames also admitted to stealing underwear, and had thrown the package out the window.

He was also found to have been driving on a suspended licence.

The family is suing the state over the officer's conduct during the incident
Image: The family is suing the state over the officer’s conduct during the incident

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said she felt “sick” after watching the video of the altercation, and that it was “completely inappropriate and clearly unprofessional”.

She added: “There is no situation in which this behaviour is ever close to acceptable.”

“As a mother myself, seeing these children placed in such a terrifying situation is beyond upsetting.”

Ms Gallego then promised to push forward the implementation of body cameras on police officers, and to call a community meeting over the incident.

Police say the shop manager has ultimately decided not to press charges, meaning no arrests were made.

Source: SKY NEWS

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