'He Had a Gun Drawn': Parents Arrested With 2 Young Children

The Phoenix couple has filed a claim for $10 million
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2019 12:00 PM CDT

A Phoenix couple wants $10 million after being arrested at gunpoint with their two small children, apparently over a stolen doll—and bystander videos don't look great for police, CNN reports. Dravon Ames and his fiancee, Iesha Harper, say they didn't see their 4-year-old daughter steal a doll from a Family Dollar store on May 29. But after driving to a babysitter's apartment, they say an officer banged on their window and angrily threatened to kill them. "Our hands are up, we're just trying not to get shot, trying to stay calm," says Ames. "He had a gun drawn." One 12-minute cellphone video begins when Ames is being handcuffed on the ground and then against a cop car. The officer kicks Ames' feet apart and reprimands him several times.

Another officer lowers his gun when Harper, who was five months pregnant, emerges from the vehicle with two children—and tries to grab the younger child until a bystander takes both children. Ames gave up her kids to a "complete stranger because I didn't trust the police to have her," she says. Now the couple has filed a $10 million claim, which usually precedes a lawsuit, and Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego has apologized: "It was completely inappropriate and clearly unprofessional," she wrote on Facebook of the arrest. Police reaction is mixed, with Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams saying she was "disturbed" by the incident and a sergeant telling KNXV there was more to the case than a stolen doll. Ames and Harper were released without charges, and authorities are investigating. (Read more police stories.)

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