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The Latest: Phoenix man in video calls for police firings

June 20, 2019
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Dravon Ames, holding microphone, speaks to Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams and Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, as his fiancee, Iesha Harper, right, holds 1-year-old daughter London, at a community meeting, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Phoenix. The community meeting stems from reaction to a videotaped encounter that surfaced recently of Ames and his pregnant fiancee, Harper, having had guns aimed at them by Phoenix police during a response to a shoplifting report, as well as the issue of recent police-involved shootings in the community. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on the videotaped police encounter after a reported shoplifting (all times local):

4:57 p.m.

The young black man who was targeted in a videotaped encounter that showed Phoenix police pointing guns at him and his pregnant fiancee has told the City Council he wants the officers to be fired.

Dravon Ames told councilmembers Wednesday that he and his family “could have lost their lives over something senseless ... over a 4-year-old taking a doll.”

He calls it “sad” the officers are still employed.

Scores of other protesters crowded into council chambers to demand police reforms.

The video was taken last month by a bystander who watched as police confronted Ames and Iesha Harper, who was holding their 1-year-old daughter. The couple says their 4-year-old daughter took a doll from a store without their knowledge.

Police Chief Jeri WIlliams has launched an internal investigation.

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3:20 p.m.

Protesters angered by a video of Phoenix officers who pointed guns and yelled obscenities at a black family they suspected of shoplifting have crowded inside City Council chambers to demand police reforms.

Scores of people who support the family assembled Wednesday about an hour before the regular meeting carrying signs and banners with slogans like, “Fire the Police” and “Stop Police Brutality and Impunity.”

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams promised change after being booed during a community meeting Tuesday night. The meeting follows the national outcry over a videotaped encounter involving police and a family after a shoplifting report. (June 19)

Speakers later called on the council to fire the officers involved and to set up a board of civilians to oversee changes in police department procedure already recommended over the past decade.

The video was taken last month by a bystander who watched as police confronted Dravon Ames and his pregnant fiancee, Iesha Harper, who was holding their 1-year-old daughter. The couple says their 4-year-old daughter took a doll from a store without their knowledge.

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2 p.m.

Dozens of people are assembling outside Phoenix City Hall for a protest to demand the firing of officers involved in a videotaped encounter in which they pointed guns and yelled curses at a family.

The protesters gearing up for the Wednesday afternoon demonstration are carrying signs and banners with slogans such as “Fire the Police” and “Stop Police Brutality and Impunity.”

They are chanting “You can’t hide! We can see your racist side.”

A national outcry involving the Phoenix police began last week with the release of a bystander’s video that showed the incident targeting Dravon Ames’ pregnant fiancée Iesha Harper as she held their 1-year-old daughter.

Police we’re responding to a report of shoplifting at a dollar store. They say their 4-year-old daughter took a doll from the store without their knowledge.

The couple has filed a $10 million claim against the city, alleging civil rights violations.

Police Chief Jeri WIlliams has launched an internal investigation.

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10:20 a.m.

Phoenix advocacy groups are calling for a rally outside City Hall, followed by a march to the regular scheduled City Council meeting to demand police department reform after release of a videotape showing officers pointing guns and cursing at a family.

The groups rallying Wednesday demand the firing of the officers. They also seek creation of an oversight board of civilians to ensure recommendations made for department reforms over the past decade are put into place.

Last month’s incident targeting a young black couple and their two small daughters has sparked an outcry around the country.

The couple says their 4-year-old daughter stole a doll from a store without their knowledge.

No charges have been filed against the couple who has filed a $10 million claim against the city.

4 a.m.

Police Chief Jeri Williams has promised change in her department after being booed by some of hundreds of people gathered to discuss a videotaped police encounter that has caused a national outcry.

The meeting at a downtown church Tuesday night was called by the city after the release of a bystander’s video of officers who pointed their guns and shouted obscenities last month at a black family. The couple says their 4-year-old daughter stole a doll from a store without their knowledge.

Williams has assured those gathered that the meeting would not be the last, saying: “We are here to listen, we are here to make change.”

No charges have been filed against the couple who has filed a $10 million claim against the city.

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