Phoenix police officer Christopher Meyer will be fired after he was seen on video pulling a gun on and attacking a family after the young daughter, then 4, allegedly stole a Barbie doll from a dollar store in May, the Phoenix Police Department announced in a press conference Tuesday after an internal investigation.
The couple, Dravon Ames and Iesha Harper, who both are Black, have said they didn’t notice the 4-year-old had walked out with the Barbie doll, CNN reported.
They said they were confused and scared when Meyer came up to their car window, banging on it and threatening to kill them. They said that he did not flash any lights or sirens to let them know they were being pulled over.
A video of the incident shot by witnesses shows a police officer handcuffing Ames and kicking him while shouting repeatedly, “When I tell you to do something, you f—— do it.”
“Our hands are up, we’re just trying not to get shot, trying to stay calm,” Ames told CNN. “He had a gun drawn.”
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Harper, who was five months pregnant at the time, exited the car with her two other young children, one in her arms and the other by her side. One of the two officers attempted to take the child out of her arms, CNN reported, but Harper gave the child to a bystander instead.
Harper said she was afraid the officer was going to shoot her in front of the children.
Along with Meyer being fired, a second officer who also was there and appeared to have pulled their gun received a written reprimand. The Phoenix Police Department recommended that Meyer receive a six-week unpaid suspension but Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said she didn’t think it was enough.
“In this case, a 240-hour suspension is just not sufficient to reverse the adverse effects of his actions on our department and our community,” Williams said of Meyer during a press conference on Tuesday.