A family accusing Phoenix police of misconduct is seeking $10 million from the city after an incident that began with a child taking a doll from a dollar store, KTAR News reports.
A notice of claim was filed Thursday morning and it accuses police officers of battery, unlawful imprisonment, false arrest, infliction of emotional distress and violation of the family’s civil rights.
According to the claim, Dravon Ames and Iesha Harper, who is five months pregnant, didn’t realize their 4-year-old took a doll from a Family Dollar Store until they were in the car.
The family drove to an apartment building near by, where their babysitter lives. That’s when they say a police car pulled up behind them with “no sirens or lights.”
“We’re talking about a little doll that’s worth maybe $5 and the horrors that came from the overreaction to that,” said former Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, who is representing the family.
That’s when the family claims an officer approached Ames, who was in the driver’s seat, pointed a gun at him and said, “I’m going to put a cap in your ass.” The officer also said, “I’m gonna shoot you in your (expletive) face.”
Their 4-year-old and their 1-year-old children were in the backseat of the car.
According to the family, the officer pulled Ames out of the car, kicked him in the right leg, and punched him in the back.
“He kicked me pretty hard,” Ames said. “I’m still limping.”
The officer also pointed a gun at the mother and children inside, the claim said.
Ames and Harper claim they were put into handcuffs and that threats with profanity were made.
“They held guns on these little girls,” Rev. Jarrett Maupin, a civil rights activist, told azfamily.com. “They held guns on these two parents.”
Some of the incident was caught on camera, but the family says five to 10 minutes went by before people started filming.
“After this, me and my daughters will never be the same anymore or feel the same for police because it seems like every police is out for blood or something. We wasn’t really doing anything,” said Harper.
The claim says the car was impounded and Ames’ injuries, due to the police brutality, are making him unable to work.
They are suing for $2.5 million for each family member.