A shoplifting family gets confronted by police and a HUGE music star has weighed in…
The video of police holding a young family at gunpoint has gone viral. This was after the man and his 4-year old daughter were both caught on surveillance video appearing to take items from a dollar store without paying for them, although that part barely makes the reportage.
There was a tremendous amount of outrage over the actions of the Phoenix police during the incident when the video was posted online. Many have called it police brutality against a young black family. Even in the video taken by a neighbor, there is concern about the very young children present, as well as the treatment of the pregnant mother.
The officers have been assigned desk duty while an investigation is conducted, but the family is calling for them to be fired.
Dravon Ames, 22, and Iesha Harper, 24, were held at gunpoint on May 27 along with their one-year-old and four-year-old.
They were followed home by Phoenix Police Department officers who believed they had shoplifted from a Family Dollar store and were threatened by gun-toting cops who screamed at them and the children in front of horrified onlookers.
A video of the confrontation went viral on social media, with many describing it as proof of the cops’ excessive force and brutality.
The video caught the attention of rapper, Jay Z, who is now footing the bill for the family’s legal fees. They are suing the city for their treatment at the hands of police and are seeking $10 million in damages.
But there’s more to this story, isn’t there? This isn’t just about a preschooler walking out of a store with a $1 Barbie, is it?
Surveillance video shows that not only did the girl walk out of the store with the doll, but she did so with her mother ushering her out, followed by her father with bulging pockets.
I have questions… well, one question, really.
Who steals underwear from a dollar store?!
The family insists that they “didn’t know” that the 4-year-old walked out with the doll, but how about you watch and make your own judgment:
At a press conference on Monday, lawyers for the family angrily hit back at what said were smear efforts by the police department to ‘justify the unjustifiable’.
Their lawyers were hesitant to admit or deny whether they had stolen anything but said it not have mattered if they’d stolen the whole store – they did not deserve to have guns pointed in their faces when they were unarmed.
The video shows their daughter stealing a $1 Barbie doll. It also shows Ames kneeling down and appearing to take underwear out of a packet and walk out of the store with it.
Here’s the full video that was taken by a neighbor: (LANGUAGE WARNING)
Here’s another angle:
The question is, “Does that mean that the family should have guns pointed at them for robbing a dollar store?”
Well, my answer to that is, “Don’t rob a dollar store, just pay the damned dollar.”
The police report says that Ames tossed the underwear out of the vehicle’s window, but the family insists that this was all just over a doll and that the police report has “a lot of lies” in it in order to justify the actions of the officers.
The family is refusing to answer whether or not Ames had stolen the underwear or anything else.
‘Let’s just assume for the sake of argument, everything [in the police report] was true. It still would not justify what they did. If you stole underwear, does that mean you get to do what they did? Nothing they did justifies what’s on that tape. Our bottom line is nothing justifies it. These are unarmed individuals. It’s wrong to do this to anybody and that is the point,’ said one of the representatives for the family.
Rev Jarrett Maupin, who has been supporting the family since he saw the tape, added: ‘Even if they stole every damn roll of tin foil, even if they stole 10 packs of underwear and a partridge and a pear tree, it does not justify what we saw on that tape.’
Yes, I understand this… but also, THEY STOLE FROM A DOLLAR STORE. That’s not ok. Also, Ames could’ve been easily been carrying. Ames walked out of that store with his pockets bulging and it was unclear on the surveillance tape what was in there. The police say that the officers that confronted the suspect believed that Ames was armed.
The family claims that the police are justifying their actions and attempting to “blur out” the family. They also took umbrage with the mayor and police chief making public apologies, but not one to them directly.
‘They’re trying to blur us out. They’re trying to silence us,’ Ames said.
The family also slammed the mayor and the police chief for publicly apologizing on Twitter, Facebook and in interviews but not directly to them.
‘They never did apologize to the family. Getting on TV, after you’ve run someone through the mud and tried to demonize and criminalize them and justify the unjustifiable, you ought to pick up the phone.
‘The police chief knows our phone numbers. There was no invitation to go to city hall.
‘They didn’t apologize to this family. They went on an apology tour.
‘They ought to be ashamed of themselves,’ Maupin added.
Source: Daily Mail
Mayor Kate Gallego apologized on the weekend calling the incident, “completely inappropriate and clearly unprofessional” while Phoenix Police Chief, Jeri Williams, said that she was “with everyone in the community who is angry, who is outraged.”
Republican Governor Doug Ducey said that the video showing the officers yelling profanities at the family and pointing guns at them is “disturbing and unprofessional.” Governor Ducey did praise Williams for her transparency, but he said that he seeks equal justice for everyone and knows that there is more to the case. He has decided to withhold judgment on the actions of the officers until an investigation has been completed.
I think that’s where I am on this one. Have we not learned anything from the incident with Covington Catholic school kids where people make snap judgments from a clip of footage? How about the incidents where the “innocent victims” of the evil, racist police actually turned out to have done something wrong? I’m going to wait until the facts are all available, but it does appear, that as stupid as the crime was, a crime was committed. Does that mean that the young family should have had guns pointed at them with their children present? Well, I can’t tell what’s in the minds of law enforcement officers just like they can’t read the minds of the guy they thought was shoplifting and carrying a weapon.
I’ll admit that following the family home and confronting them in the parking lot like that after not asking them to pull over is a bit problematic in my opinion. I’ll even give you dropping the F-bomb in front of young kids is certainly unprofessional — but having a police officer point a gun at you when he thinks you might be carrying a concealed weapon, well, that is the risk that you take when you steal. The police officers cannot be held responsible for Ames (allegedly) choosing to steal with his young children present.
Now, I’m not saying that Ames is some sort of weird, premeditated dollar store underwear burglar, but perhaps he thought that the police wouldn’t go after a shoplifter if he was with his small children and pregnant fiancée. Especially over underwear from a dollar store.
I even understand that he felt that his life may have been on the line. But that is the very crux of the issue, isn’t it?
Is it worth it? Is Ames’ life worth what he (allegedly) grabbed from that store?
How about his kids? Are their lives worth a pocketful of dollar store underwear?
by Doug Giles
Doug Giles, best-selling author of Raising Righteous And Rowdy Girls and Editor-In-Chief of the mega-blog, ClashDaily.com, has just penned a book he guarantees will kick hipster males into the rarefied air of masculinity. That is, if the man-child will put down his frappuccino; shut the hell up and listen and obey everything he instructs them to do in his timely and tornadic tome. Buy Now: Pussification: The Effeminization Of The American Male
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