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16 Jun, 2019 23:22

US cops who threatened to kill family over ‘stolen doll’ placed on desk duty, triggering more uproar

US cops who threatened to kill family over ‘stolen doll’ placed on desk duty, triggering more uproar

Phoenix Police Department has drawn even more criticism after officers, whose “unprofessional” threats to kill parents in front of their children recently went viral, were merely reassigned to “desk duty.”

Several videos of the confrontation surfaced earlier this week, quickly going viral and causing a storm of outrage. The incident itself occurred on May 27, when Phoenix Police was alerted by an employee of a Family Dollar store about an alleged shoplifting incident – a four-year-old child had left the shop with a doll without paying.

The police chased the suspects – Dravon Ames, 22; his fiancee, Iesha Harper, 24; along with their two young daughters, one-year-old London Drake, and four-year-old Island Drake – and cornered their vehicle near an apartment complex where the family’s babysitter lives. Footage from the scene shows the officers drawing their guns and threatening to kill the pair for non-compliance.

“I’m going to shoot you in your f**king face!” the police officers can be heard saying, along with other, profanity-laden commands. Ironically, the original police incident report describes the sweary shouting by the officers as “loud commands,” while Harper was blamed for being “verbally abusive.”

No shoplifting charges were pressed against the couple, but Ames was fined for driving with a suspended license and his vehicle was impounded. The doll of discord was returned to the store. While the police launched an internal probe into the embarrassing incident, the couple filed a $10 million civil rights claim against the city.

The police chief, Jeri Williams, said she was “disturbed by the language and the actions” of her officers, but the attempt at damage control made things even worse, sparking a new wave of outrage after the department said those involved were “removed from the street and assigned to desk duty.”

In an overwhelmingly negative response, many argued that the officers should at least have been suspended, demoted or even placed in custody, instead of getting a comfy office job. Others criticized the department’s “fact sheet” that described the whole affair as a “shoplifting incident,” arguing that a four-year-old child is too young to grasp the concept of stealing.

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego meanwhile issued an apology for the police actions, branding them “completely inappropriate and clearly unprofessional,” as well as noting that she found the videos to be “beyond upsetting.”

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