Police body camera footage shows officers in Tempe, Ariz. hitting Ivaughn Oakry with three Tasers all at once while holding his one-year-old son on June 15.
The Tempe Police Department has denied all claims of excessive force and claim that Oakry is the one who put his children in danger.
“These innocent children and their mother were placed in harm’s way by the suspect and any suggestion that anybody else but this suspect put people in harm’s way is irresponsible,” Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir said Tuesday at a news conference, according to the Arizona Republic.
In June, Oakry’s wife made a call to the non-emergency number alleging he was drunk and had pushed her. Police arrived and entered the apartment, even though Oakry’s wife was no longer there and Oakry told the officers not to. According to the Washington Post, they did not have a warrant.
When police entered, Oakry’s one-year-old son ran to him and Oakry picked him up. He refused to give the child to the officers or set him down. That’s when the officers Tased him and he fell to the ground, dropping his child.
The charges against Oakry were later dropped.
“What happened to Mr. Oakry should have never happened,” Heather Hamel, an attorney with the People’s Law Firm in Phoenix, told The Washington Post late Tuesday. “Him and all of his children are dealing with a lot of emotional and psychological trauma in the aftermath of this. Reliving it today has brought all of that up.”
Black Lives Matter Phoenix Metro held a press conference where they demanded that the officers involved with] Oakry’s Tasing were fired.
“We demand that Tempe’s Use of Force Policy be changed to not permit physical force in the presence of children, unless that child is at direct risk of harm. Physical use of force is not to be used on children at all,” the chapter’s statement read.