Police Draw Guns After Child Allegedly Takes Toy
"Don't point it at my kids!" This couple was met with police and drawn guns after their four-year-old daughter allegedly took a doll from a dollar store.
Dropping the gun
Phoenix police are being scrutinized after this mother had a gun pointed at her and was arrested after her child allegedly stole a toy from store. Videos of the incident, which circulated more recently on social media, show a pregnant woman—24-year-old Iesha Harper—struggling to obey police orders to leave her car as she holds her two small children. At one point, while the children are still in the vehicle, a police officer can be seen pointing a gun at the car as another yells, “You’re going to fucking get shot.”
According to Ames, the incident started when police approached Ames and Harper after they had parked at their babysitter’s apartment complex. Before the confrontation, someone anonymously called the police to report that the couple’s daughter had stolen a doll from a nearby Family Dollar. The couple believes the daughter took the toy by accident. Ames says in the filing that the officers hadn’t used their lights or sirens before walking over to their parked car and is calling for justice.
In the video that a resident of the apartment complex recorded, an officer can be seen pointing his gun and shouting at Ames and Harper—who are inside the car with their daughters, ages 1 and 4—to get out. In the claim, Ames says that an officer walked to the backseat door but couldn’t open it because it was broken. He adds that the officer then slammed his fist against the window and told Harper to open the door and put her hands up.
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego has apologized to the family. “I, like many others, am sick over what I have seen in the video depicting Phoenix police interacting with a family,” said Mayor Kate Gallego in a statement posted on Twitter. “It was completely inappropriate and clearly unprofessional,” Gallego added. “There is no situation in which this behavior is ever close to acceptable. As a mother myself, seeing these children placed in such a terrifying situation is beyond upsetting. I am deeply sorry for what this family went through, and I apologize to our community.”
Ames says he believes the mayor’s apology — but will be filing a notice of claim against the city for $10 million for the failed community relations.