It’s a scene that will be all-too-familiar to many parents. A 4-year-old in Phoenix, Arizona found a 99-cent Barbie doll at the Dollar Store that she wanted and took it with her when her family left the store. The child’s mother says the family was unaware that their daughter even had the doll.
Most families, however, would not experience what happened next to the Ames family.
The parents and their two small children, a black family, were pulled over by police not long after leaving the store, cursed at, held at gunpoint, and video captured one of the police officers kicking the child’s father while he was in handcuffs.
Fox 10 in Phoenix reports that:
‘Police say they were provided video on June 11 of officers taking two individuals into custody while investigating a shoplifting incident last month near 32nd Street and Roosevelt. It involved a man and a woman with two small children after the suspect vehicle was stopped not far from the scene of the theft.
‘”He just seemed like he was trigger happy. He wanted to shoot someone that day,” said Dravon Ames.’
Bystander video captures Phoenix police detaining a couple. Someone had called police saying their 4-year-old daughter stole a Barbie from a Family Dollar Store. https://t.co/YoxsqoZwjh
— 12 News (@12News) June 13, 2019
The video, which is graphic and disturbing, shows officers threatening to kill the parents as they stood next to their children, insisting that the father was not complying with orders, even though he can be heard on the video telling officers that he was doing everything they had asked. Nowhere on the video is there evidence that Ames had failed to comply with anything. The couple was unarmed and the stop happened even though Dollar Store employees said no complaint was filed.
‘”You’re going to get [expletive deleted] shot,” said an police officer, in the video.
‘”Shut the [expletive deleted] up,” said an officer, in the video.
‘In the first minute of the video, officers are seen with guns drawn, and a total of 16 expletives are lobbed at the family.
‘”They want you to believe that that was a lawful, policy-compliant, typical police stop,” said Rev. Jarrett Maupin.’
Police acted on an anonymous tip to violently take down…a family in which a 4-years old stole a 99-cent Barbie from a dollar store…a store which did NOT file a complaint. Read the demand letter from the family’s lawyer, and understand that this cannot stand. https://t.co/stIXzeADe4
— George Washington III (@GWIII) June 14, 2019
Rev. Jarrett Maupin, an advocate for the family, called the police officers on the video “bigots” and “bullies,” reminding onlookers that the stop was in no way routine. The Phoenix Police Department released a statement saying that they take “all allegations of misconduct seriously and for this reason, this incident is currently being investigated by the Professional Standards Bureau.” Maupin was outraged that the incident happened at all.
‘”They’re cowards and bullies and bigots with badges and guns,” said Rev. Maupin. “We’ve got a problem in this city, and someone’s gonna end up dead.”
‘The officer who initially confronted the family, kicked the leg of Ames with him already in handcuffs. 30 seconds later, that same officer returns to confront the mother with her children.
‘”It was crazy, very scary over a dollar store. I would have bought that doll had I knew,” said Aesha Harper.’
An #Arizona family claims “trigger-happy” police threatened to shoot them after their 4-year-old daughter walked out of a dollar store with a #Barbie doll they hadn’t paid for — without the parents’ knowledge. https://t.co/w85OMs48mm #UnitedStates
— Francisco Taveira (@jftaveira1993) June 14, 2019
Featured image screenshot via video