Phoenix police have released surveillance footage of the alleged shoplifting incident that led to a dramatic on-camera confrontation between officers and a local black couple and their very young children, reports CBS News.
Family Dollar store CCTV footage allegedly shows Dravon Ames absconding with a package of underwear and his 4-year-old daughter taking a doll on May 27 at the store.
The alleged shoplifting incident is what precipitated the family’s interaction with those Phoenix police officers who were beyond less than professional. Those officers drew their weapons and barked profanities at Ames and his fiancée, Iesha Harper, in front of the couple’s two young kids.
The tense confrontation in a local apartment building parking lot was caught on video by bystanders and has since gone viral.
Following the incident, Ames and his fiancee, Iesha Harper filed a $10 million civil suit against the city, claiming that police unlawfully arrested them.
Interestingly, the store has declined to file any charges against the family.
On Monday, Ames and Harper spoke with the media. Ames responded emotionally to reporters who asked if he had stolen the underwear.
“They put a gun in my daughter’s face, and you’re asking me about drawers?” he said.
He couldn’t believe the reporters had the audacity to question his alleged criminal intent.
“My family has been through enough. You see in the video the fear. The sounds of my daughters crying, and you’re asking me about some drawers? That’s insensitive, that’s insulting,” he said.
Meanwhile, Police Chief Jeri Williams (a black woman) and Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego have condemned the now-viral cellphone video that shows officers roughing Ames up and cursing him out while Harper looks on with their two kids, ages 1 and 4.
The officers involved in the May 27 incident have been assigned to desk duty while the department probes the incident.