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Phoenix Mayor Apologizes After Troubling Video of Arrest Goes Viral

Photo by Gage Skidmore

The mayor of Phoenix, Arizona has apologized for the way police treated a Black family when their 4-year-old daughter accidentally walked out of a discount store with a doll.

Some might find this video upsetting.

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego says the police officers’ actions, which included drawing and pointing guns at them and shouting profanity-laden threats to kill them, were “completely inappropriate and clearly unprofessional,” calling the recordings “beyond upsetting,” NPR reported Sunday.

The incident was first reported by the Phoenix New Times on June 12.

The family has filed a $10 million civil rights claim over the incident, which happened May 27. Dravon Ames, 22, and his fiancée, Iesha Harper, 24, visited a Family Dollar with their two daughters, London Drake, 1, and Island Drake, 4. One of their daughters walked out of the store with a doll without paying for it, but the parents didn’t notice.

Police were called by a store employee and cornered the family’s vehicle in an apartment complex parking lot. Cell phone video recorded by witnesses shows police ordering Harper to put her baby on the ground and issuing threats like “I’ll put a f**cking cap in your head” and “You’re gonna get f**cking shot.”

The police report of the incident failed to note the threats, and did not mention the officer involved, Christopher Meyer, attempting to take the baby from Harper’s arms.
Gallegos called for a community meeting to happen Tuesday.