A Phoenix Police officer who threatened to shoot a young family over a barbie doll and also kicked a handcuffed man will be fired, says Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams.
The video surfaced in early June 2019 and shows Officer Christopher Meyer sweeping the leg of the father whom he has handcuffed and held against the car.
SWEEPING THE LEG OF A HANDCUFFED FATHER:— Zach Crenshaw (@ZachCrenshaw) June 12, 2019
Tonight on @ABC15 at 10 - the action Phoenix PD is taking after this cell phone video surfaced... what led the family to be pulled over... and why one officer drew his gun then quickly holstered it.
Don’t miss it... pic.twitter.com/6WvZNLC1IV
The full story quickly took shape:
FULL STORY:— Zach Crenshaw (@ZachCrenshaw) June 12, 2019
- Phoenix PD has launched an internal investigation.
- Officer who swept leg is on non-enforcement.
- Neither parent was arrested.
- Incident began as shoplifting-theft call.
- PD not releasing officers' names or report right now.
- No body/dash cam. pic.twitter.com/4HuT90lIOC
And other vantage points from the incident began to emerge:
"My hands are up! My hands are up!" 22yo Dravon Ames says as a Phoenix police officer yells to "get your fucking hands up." The same officer later says "You're gonna fucking get shot!"— Meg O'Connor (@megoconnor13) June 12, 2019
Ames says the officers stopped him after his child walked out of a Dollar Store with a doll. pic.twitter.com/Nlkd7IXsyc
The incident was taken into consideration by the department’s disciplinary review board, which includes police officers and members of the community.
Ultimately, the officer who screamed “You’re going to get f***ing shot!” will receive a reprimand, and Officer Christopher Meyer who also made verbal threats will be fired for his unruly physical conduct.
Williams—in a press conference announcing that Officer Meyer would be fired—said:
“I have expectations of my employees to be respectful, to be courteous, to be decisive, and to treat everyone with dignity.”
DISCIPLINARY ACTION TAKEN AGAINST PHOENIX POLICE OFFICERSPhoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams announced discipline, including two terminations tied to high-profile incidents today.In the first case, an officer has been fired based on his response to a shoplifting call. The May 27th incident was captured on cell phone video that made news both locally and across the country. Chief Williams made the final decision to terminate Officer Chris Meyer, saying his actions caused adverse effects on both the Phoenix Police Department and our community. A second officer from the same incident was given a written reprimand.The Police Chief also announced discipline for employees connected to social media posts, including one termination. 72 current employees were flagged as having possible inappropriate posts. An internal investigation looked at our policy and determined most of those employees’ actions rose to the level of supervisory coaching. Of the remaining 11 employees deemed to be in more serious violation of the policy, one was terminated, nine others received suspensions of 8-40 hours. The remaining employee is still in the investigative process.“Our officers’ behavior was unacceptable,” said Chief Williams. “I expect them to be respectful, professional and compassionate in every situation and every encounter.”The Phoenix Police Department receives more than 2,000,000 calls for service each year. The overwhelming majority of those calls and contacts end well. “But when they don’t, we will deal with the misconduct and create a dynamic where further harm isn’t done,” said Williams.Chief Williams commended the professionalism and respect delivered by most officers in their thousands of daily encounters with the public. “It’s what I expect and what the public deserves.”Posted by City of Phoenix Police Department on Tuesday, October 22, 2019
The incident took place after 22 year old Dravon Ames, Iesha Harper (his pregnant fiancé) and their children aged 1 and 4, were shopping at a Family Dollar and their 4 year-old daughter accidentally walked out with a doll.
After an arrest of a family member of Harper’s on outstanding warrants, officers followed Ames and Harper to their apartment complex and pulled Ames out of the car, threatening to “put a cap in [his] *ss.”
We live in a society where untrained civilians need to remain calm, but trained officers are allowed to panic due to the “stress” of their job— 𝔅𝔞𝔡 𝔍𝔞𝔫𝔢𝔱 ♡ (@cemeterysIut) June 15, 2019
Phoenix police are infamous for shooting first and asking questions later. A drunk, distressed man (white) was gunned down & killed after swinging a beer bottle at cops in an apartment complex I lived at in Phoenix in the late 90s. This guy's lucky to be alive.— BOOldlyBuilding (@BoldlyBuilding2) June 12, 2019
We appreciate you have a hard job to do, but the response is a bit extreme. Even if you think the parents are in on it, no one should get shot over a dollar store item.#Comeonman#Dollarstore— Bradford Bates (@Freetheblizz) June 12, 2019
It's kind of sad the kid with guns pointed at him sounded calmer than the police.
A man with that much anger should not be a cop. I’m disgusted.— Sarah Imbrogno (@sarahimbrogno) June 14, 2019
Williams said she ultimately decided to fire the officer because she felt she could no longer trust Officer Meyer.
“In this case, a 240-hour suspension is just not sufficient to reverse the adverse effects of his actions on our department and our community.”
Pheonix pd needs retraining...we've seen this before from them...haven't we?? Whoever trains the police there obviously thinks they themselves are above the law and not subject to it like the rest of us #GodComplex— barbara (@pinkdragon3082) June 15, 2019
Any settlement should include officer badges. Abuse of power. Here is the other video he mentioned.https://t.co/OIb92OqzgC— Jorge (@jonjojr) June 14, 2019
Holy shit they are completely out of control— Macho Derek ✌️😎 🏳️🌈 (@Derek_Zzzz) June 12, 2019
Cant wait for him to be put on paid leave followed by being aquited of all charges— h*ck🍞🥚 (@discourseandy) June 12, 2019
They sound disgusting— Love Always 💜 (@missangelina211) June 14, 2019
Ames and Harper have filed a $10 million lawsuit against the city.
“This can happen to anybody,” Ames said, reflecting on the incident.
“I really, really would hate to see that happen to anybody or someone dies over that, because I really feel like my family would have died over this — a Barbie doll.”
Have you listened to the first season of George Takei’s podcast, ‘Oh Myyy Pod!‘?
In season one we explored the racially charged videos that have taken the internet by storm.
We’re hard at work on season two so be sure to subscribe here so you don’t miss it when it goes live.
Here’s one of our favorite episodes from season one. Enjoy!