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Phoenix police release surveillance video of shoplifting incident

PHOENIX — Phoenix Police on Monday released store surveillance video of the shoplifting incident that preceded the viral confrontation that has led to a family seeking $10 million from the city.

Three videos show Dravon Ames, Iesha Harper, a 4-year-old and a 1-year-old inside the store looking at items on shelves before leaving.

Two of the videos show the 4-year-old with a large item in her hands.

The family has been saying the whole incident was over a doll the girl took from the store.

What transpired after the family left the Family Dollar store at 36th Street and McDowell Road on May 27 set off a firestorm.

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

The officers’ treatment of Ames and Harper there, which was caught on video by bystanders, has been criticized as being excessive for a shoplifting case involving a family with young children.

The videos, which propelled the case onto national news networks, show an officer roughly handling Ames and at one point kicking his leg after he was handcuffed.

They also show an officer with his gun pulled threatening Harper, who is pregnant, and using expletives while she is holding the baby.

The family filed a claim of notice last week, which is a precursor to a lawsuit, seeking $2.5 million per person.

Ames and Harper accused the officers of battery, unlawful imprisonment, false arrest, infliction of emotional distress and violation of the civil rights in the claim (warning: explicit language).

Mayor Kate Gallego, who issued a statement over the weekend saying she was “sick” over the videos, scheduled a community town hall meeting to discuss the incident at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church near 14th and Jefferson streets.

The Phoenix Police Department started an internal investigation last week after receiving the parking lot cellphone videos.

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