ARIZONA NEWS

Family seeks $10M from Phoenix over police response to stolen doll

Jun 13, 2019, 12:57 PM | Updated: Oct 26, 2022, 9:29 am

PHOENIX – A family accusing Phoenix police of serious misconduct is seeking $10 million from the city over an incident that began with a child taking a doll from a dollar store.

A notice of claim, a precursor to a lawsuit, filed Thursday morning accuses police officers of battery, unlawful imprisonment, false arrest, infliction of emotional distress and violation of the family’s civil rights.

The monetary amount was based on $2.5 million per family member, parents Dravon Ames and Iesha Harper, who is pregnant, a 4-year-old and a 1-year-old.

On Tuesday, Phoenix police said on Facebook they were investigating the May 29 incident after receiving cellphone video taken in an apartment parking lot. The post included the video (warning: explicit language).

Phoenix Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said in an email Wednesday there is additional video and it has been forwarded to the department’s Professional Standards Bureau as part of the investigation.

He also said the department couldn’t comment on pending litigation.

Ames and Harper, who are being represented by former Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, described events during a press conference Wednesday that were also laid out in the notice of claim (warning: explicit language).

The family also released a second bystander video from a different angle and held another press conference for Thursday afternoon.

Ames and Harper say they didn’t realize the 4-year-old had taken a doll from the Family Dollar store at 36th Street and McDowell Road until they were in their car.

“We’re talking about a little doll that’s worth maybe $5 and the horrors that came from the overreaction to that,” Horne said Thursday.

The claim says the store didn’t report the theft and the police response was based on what they were told by an anonymous witness.

After the family drove to their babysitter’s apartment complex at 32nd and Roosevelt streets, a police car followed them into the lot.

The claim says officers with guns pulled made threats and used expletives. The videos backs up the descriptions in the claim.

It also says police were unnecessarily physical with the couple even though they were not resisting.

Ames’ car was impounded, making him unable to get to work and reducing his earning capacity, the claim says.

Horne told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes Show on Friday that the incident ended when a lieutenant arrived on the scene and told officers to release the couple after they’d been put into police cars.

He also said the department has declined to turn over an incident report.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

A voter casts his ballot at a drop box on Nov. 8, 2022, in Mesa, Arizona. After months of candidate...
SuElen Rivera

Maricopa County Board of Supervisors responds to AG’s office about voting issues

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors on Sunday responded to the Arizona Attorney General's Office about voting issues on the Nov. 8 election.
21 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Enchant Scottsdale)...
KTAR.com

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Nov. 25-27

More Christmas events are popping up around the Valley and the police are looking for tips into a couple homicides over the weekend. Here are this weekend's top stories.
21 hours ago
(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)...
KTAR.com

Suspect arrested after man fatally shot at Phoenix gas station

A man allegedly involved in the fatal shooting of a man at a Phoenix gas station was arrested Saturday.
21 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
KTAR.com

Detectives investigating fatal hit-and-run with pedestrian in wheelchair in Goodyear

A woman in a wheelchair died after she was struck by a vehicle in Goodyear Saturday evening, authorities said.
21 hours ago
(City of Peoria Photo)...
Audrey Jensen/Phoenix Business Journal

Peoria approves tax incentive agreement with mixed-use project developer

Peoria moved forward with what could be the final development agreement needed for a new mixed-use office project called Stadium Point.
21 hours ago
Follow @KTAR923...
KTAR.com

Downtown Chandler hosts life-sized holiday treats display ‘Sugarland’

Downtown Chandler kicked off the holiday season with an interactive Christmas display filled with life-sized treats on Saturday.
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Family seeks $10M from Phoenix over police response to stolen doll