The Phoenix police department has found itself in some hot water after witness video was released showing its officers yelling, cursing and pointing guns at a couple accused of shoplifting, along with their two young children.
Though they were recently slapped with a $10 million lawsuit from the family in connection to the incident, the Phoenix mayor and city council are breaking their silence, and the majority of them are siding with the family.
As previously reported, Dravon Ames, 22, and his pregnant fiancée, Iesha Harper, 24, were pulled over and confronted by Phoenix police near 36th and Roosevelt streets on May 27. The couple claimed the cops held them and their children at gunpoint while threatening them. They also alleged that the police physically harmed Ames and their 4-year-old daughter because she took a doll from a local Family Dollar store.
In the police's report, the authorities claimed that the couple stole additional items from the store and were not cooperative with the police. The officers even reported that they believed Ames was reaching for a weapon at one point during the confrontation.
According to AZ Central, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego has since shared her thoughts on the incident, calling the officers' behavior "completely inappropriate and clearly unprofessional" in a statement issued on Saturday.
"There is no situation in which this behavior is ever close to acceptable," she said. "As a mother myself, seeing these children placed in such a terrifying situation is beyond upsetting."
She also went on to directly apologize to the family before stressing, "This is not who we are."
Councilwoman Thelda Williams echoed Mayor Gallego's sentiments, stressing in an interview on Monday that she believes the police "really overreacted."
"The officer that I saw on the video, his actions were totally inappropriate and despicable," she said.
Several other council representatives expressed extreme disappointment in how the police handled the exchange with the family. However, the public remains infuriated after the Phoenix PD released surveillance video of the shoplifting incident prior to the violent police outburst.
Some consider this a smear campaign against the family, calling the release of the video to be in poor taste.
See a few of their reactions, below:
The officers involved in the incident are currently on desk duty peding the outcome of the investigation.
(Photo: Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)