The Latest: Couple speak about Phoenix police incident
PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on Phoenix police pointing guns at a couple during a shoplifting investigation (all times local):
A father says he and his family are lucky to be alive after Phoenix police aimed guns and yelled obscenities at them in a videotaped encounter.
Dravon Ames said during a Tuesday night meeting over the encounter following a reported shoplifting last month that he, Iesha Harper and their two children were lucky to be alive.
Ames says, “No one should ever try to justify what happened that day.”
Harper, holding the couple’s 1-year-old child, said, “We matter.”
The father of Jacob Harris, a black 19-year-old man who was shot and killed by a Phoenix officer in January following an armed robbery at a fast food restaurant, also spoke at the meeting.
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and Police Chief Jeri Williams are again expressing regret after a shoplifting report ended with officers being videotaped pointing guns and yelling profanities at a family.
Gallego and Williams spoke Tuesday night before hundreds of people gathered in a downtown church over the incident, which created a national outcry.
Gallego says she is “deeply sorry for the events that led us here today.”
Williams apologized to the family again and said, “I know we are better.”
The bystander’s video recorded last month shows officers roughly treating Dravon Ames and his pregnant fiancée, Iesha Harper, who was holding their 1-year-old child.
The couple, who is black, says their 4-year-old daughter stole a doll from a store without their knowledge.
They have filed a $10 million civil rights claim against the city.
Hundreds of people are assembling inside a downtown church for a community meeting about a videotaped encounter that sparked an outcry because it showed police responding to a shoplifting report pointing their guns and yelling profanities at a family.
Police Chief Jeri Williams and Mayor Kate Gallego are expected at the Tuesday evening meeting organized by the city at Pilgrim Rest Baptist church.
Organizers say the meeting will start later than scheduled because of the need to seat the large turnout.
The video taped by a bystander shows Dravon Ames and his pregnant fiancée, Iesha Harper, being targeted by officers during the encounter late last month. They are both black.
They say their 4-year-old daughter stole a doll from a store without their knowledge.
Phoenix police have released store surveillance video apparently designed to back up its assertion that adults and not just a child shoplifted before officers pointed guns and yelled profanities at a family.
The video released Tuesday has been edited and faces blurred. It shows a man taking something from a display rack and examining it, but it’s unclear what happened to it when he walked off camera.
According to last month’s police report, Dravon Ames says he threw a pair of stolen underwear out of his car. It also says a woman in a different vehicle was arrested for stealing aluminum foil.
Video released earlier that shows police confronting Ames and his pregnant fiancee has drawn outcry.
The black couple have said their 4-year-old daughter took a doll without their knowledge and have filed a $10 million civil rights claim.
The city of Phoenix has organized a community meeting at a downtown church to discuss a videotaped encounter involving police officers who pointed guns and yelled profanities at a black couple after their 4-year-old daughter took a doll from a store.
Mayor Kate Gallego and Police Chief Jeri Williams are expected at the Tuesday night meeting. Both have apologized publicly for the incident.
The video released Friday shows officers aiming guns and yelling profane commands at Dravon Ames and his pregnant fiancée, as she held their 1-year-old daughter.
The couple filed a $10 million claim against the city alleging civil rights violations. The race of the officers involved is not known.
They say their daughter stole a doll from a store without their knowledge. No charges were filed.