Penzone OK with officials’ apologies to family in shoplifting incident

Jun 19, 2019, 4:55 AM | Updated: 9:07 am

Paul Penzone...

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone (AP File Photo/Matt York)

(AP File Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone believes it’s OK Phoenix’s police chief and mayor apologized to the family whose shoplifting case became national news over viral videos of a police confrontation.

Penzone told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos on Tuesday that apologizing for poor departmental conduct doesn’t necessarily affect due process of a situation, but rather allows for necessary transparency.

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams and Mayor Kate Gallego over the weekend apologized to Dravon Ames, Iesha Harper and their family for videos Williams said of which she was “disturbed by the language and actions of our officer.”

The videos, which propelled the case into national headlines, 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 $10 million.

“Sometimes in law enforcement, we have to own it sometimes when we mess up or someone that represents our organization messes up and that’s OK because you build a stronger reputation by not letting those bad actions reflect on the greater population of those who do the job,” Penzone said.

Although the family has said it didn’t accept the apologies, Penzone won’t criticize Gallego and Williams for their effort.

“There have been times when you know there are certain aspects that stand on their own that they don’t meet your values or principles and there’s nothing wrong with having the courage and humility to say ‘you know what, we’re better than that’ or to apologize,” Penzone said.

“It was their decision to do what they felt appropriate and I’m not going to judge them for it. It doesn’t mean you’re weak or less of a leader. It just means you’re able to own it and take that hit often times for your team so that you can overcome it and be better off in the long run.”


We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

Arizona's Aliyah Alpert, 13, moved on to the quarterfinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee on ...

Danny Shapiro

Arizona girl moves on to quarterfinals of Scripps National Spelling Bee

One of Arizona's two participants in the Scripps National Spelling Bee is moving on to Wednesday's quarterfinals after perfect preliminary rounds.

6 minutes ago

A woman will be arrested after a bomb was found at a Phoenix apartment complex on May 27, 2024. (AP...

Woman to be arrested for bomb threat at Phoenix apartment complex

A woman will be arrested for a bomb threat that was made at a Phoenix apartment complex on Monday, authorities said.

1 hour ago

From left, alleged Arizona fake electors Michael and Kelli Ward appear with their attorney during t...

Kevin Stone

Poll: More Arizona voters think alleged fake GOP electors are guilty than innocent

The 11 Arizona Republicans charged in the state’s fake elector case appear to be losing in the court of public opinion, even within their own party, according to a new poll.

3 hours ago

Man dead after being struck by a vehicle in Goodyear...

Speed may have been factor in fatal vehicle-pedestrian collision in Goodyear

A pedestrian died after being struck by a vehicle that a juvenile was driving in Goodyear around 6 p.m. on Monday, authorities said.

5 hours ago

Southbound I-17 was closed at Indian School Road in Phoenix for a police situation on May 28, 2024....

Southbound I-17 reopened at Indian School Road in Phoenix after police situation

The southbound lanes of Interstate 17 were closed at Indian School Road in Phoenix on Tuesday morning for a police situation, authorities said.

6 hours ago

Refuge Fire: Arson suspect arrested, given multiple charges...

Serena O'Sullivan

Arizona man accused of starting fire in wildlife refuge near California border

The Yuma County Sheriff's Office said a man accused of starting the Refuge Fire near the Arizona-California border was arrested.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Penzone OK with officials’ apologies to family in shoplifting incident