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Phoenix police defenders to address City Council after video

June 27, 2019
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Roland Harris of Phoenix talks about his son, Jacob Harris, who was shot and killed in January after the armed robbery of a fast food restaurant, outside Phoenix City Hall Wednesday, June 26, 2019. He is demanding to see body camera video that he believes exists of the encounter with Phoenix police. The families of several people shot by Phoenix police have spoken out after the recent release of a video that shows officers aiming guns and obscenities at a black family whose daughter took a doll from a store. (AP Photo/Anita Snow)

PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix City Council faced a mostly police-friendly crowd Wednesday, a week after people crowded council chambers to express anger over a videotaped encounter that showed officers aiming guns and hurling profanity at a black family.

Nohl Rosen from Wickenburg, Arizona, said the city’s leadership must “stop attacking our cops.” Rosen said he doesn’t believe there was anything wrong with the way officers confronted 22-year-old Dravon Ames and his 24-year-old fiancee Iesha Harper last month after a reported shoplifting. Harper is six months pregnant and was holding the couple’s 1-year-old.

Ames and Harper, who have filed a $10 million claim against the city, say their 4-year-old daughter took a doll from the store without their knowledge.

Phoenix resident Paul Yoder criticized Mayor Kate Gallego for tolerating obscenities by police critics at the angry meeting last week.

The men were among a few dozen police defenders who showed up at the meeting to express their support.

City Councilman Sal DiCiccio, a strong defender of the police, said he had asked that police leadership document all conversations with management and politicians to ensure that the individual officers are not harmed by political pressures.

“No politician’s career is more valuable than our police officers,” DiCiccio said.

Several people at the Wednesday meeting criticized the officers’ actions.

The families of numerous people shot by Phoenix police in recent months have spoken out after the video emerged.

Roland Harris told reporters earlier in the day that he wants the body cam video he believes exists of the killing of his 19-year-old son Jacob Harris by Phoenix police after an armed robbery of a fast food restaurant in January.

A Phoenix police spokesman did not immediately respond to a query about whether such video exists.

Gallego has scheduled a discussion on public safety issues at next week’s council, where Police Chief Jeri Williams will offer an update on community concerns.

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