Protesters plan to meet at Phoenix City Hall over police aggression

Jun 19, 2019, 8:52 AM | Updated: 3:13 pm
Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams, left, and Mayor Kate Gallego, right, listen to a speaker at a c...

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams, left, and Mayor Kate Gallego, right, listen to a speaker at a community meeting, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Phoenix. The community meeting stems from reaction to a videotaped encounter that surfaced recently of Dravon Ames and his pregnant fiancee, Iesha Harper, having had guns aimed at them by Phoenix police during a response to a shoplifting report, as well as the issue of recent police-involved shootings in the community. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX – Civil rights activists planned to meet Wednesday afternoon outside Phoenix City Hall to protest what they say is continued police aggression against their communities.

“We want to continue to expose the culture of violence in the Phoenix Police Department,” Isabel Garcia with Poder in Action, a social justice-focused organization, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.

A Facebook post said protesters would begin their End Police Violence gathering at 1:30 p.m. and then make their way to council chambers for the formal meeting that starts at 2:30 p.m.

“Phoenix Police violence is not on the agenda, so we’re going to demand … they talk about it,” Garcia said.

Garcia was among the 2,000-plus who attended a community forum with Police Chief Jeri Williams and Mayor Kate Gallego concerning excessive use of force against residents.

The most recent allegation came after officers drew weapons on a pregnant woman and her small children in late May.

The officers were responding to shoplifting accusations against the family, including the children’s father, over a doll that store employees said the 4-year-old had taken.

In a cellphone video that went viral, police in a parking lot cursed loudly, pulled the arms of Iesha Harper and ordered her to put down the 1-year-old she was carrying in her arms.

That happened after police had handcuffed Dravon Ames and then leg-swiped him.

The family has filed a $10 million claim against the city.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

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Protesters plan to meet at Phoenix City Hall over police aggression