Phoenix mayor apologises after footage shows US police in altercation with young family
The mayor of Phoenix, Arizona has apologised after a video captured a police officer pointing a gun at a young family.
Footage circulated online shows the officer drawing his weapon and swearing at the father and pregnant woman holding her one-year-old.
AIesha Harper, 24, is seen getting out of a car with daughters Island Drake, four, and London Drake, one.
She is then shouted at by another officer as a third handcuffs her fiancée Dravon Ames, 22.
— Mayor Kate Gallego (@MayorGallego)16 June 2019
The parents are told to put their hands up and are threatened.
Police said they were investigating allegations that one of the children had shoplifted a doll from a store.
The viral footage of the incident captured by multiple bystanders prompted an internal investigation, and a $10m civil rights claim from the family.
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego has now apologised for the incident saying the police officer’s actions were “completely inappropriate and clearly unprofessional,” calling the recordings beyond upsetting.
“I am deeply sorry for what this family went through and I apologize to our community,” Ms Gallego wrote on Twitter on Saturday evening.
“This is not who we are and I refuse to allow this type of behaviour to go unchallenged.”
The family launched a civil rights claim in which they said it was not until they had got into their car that they realised their daughter Island had taken the doll from the store.
After driving off a police car pulled in behind them. There had been no sirens or lights prior, the claim said.
The police man can be heard shouting at the family: “you’re gonna get f***ing shot. Get your f***ing hands up.”
In the claim the parents also said that when Ms Harper got out of the car, officers injured her one-year-old daughter by pulling on one of her arms after the pregnant woman refused to follow the officer’s order to hand over her baby.
Phoenix Police Department Chief Jeri Williams told the public that an internal investigation is being conducted over the incident.
"I, like you, am disturbed by the language and the actions of our officer," Williams said in a video the police department posted to Facebook.
"I assure you that this incident is not representative of the majority of Phoenix police officers who serve this city."