Phoenix councilman releases 911 calls with crude threats toward police
PHOENIX – A Phoenix City Council member released a YouTube video Monday of profanity-laced, threatening calls fielded by 911 operators in the wake of highly publicized police brutality allegations.
Councilman Sal DiCiccio, a staunch police supporter, named the unedited video (warning: extreme profanity) “Extremists Terrorize 911 Operators.”
The one-minute, 52-second video provides unredacted captions of callers berating 911 operators and referencing the videos of police incidents that have been in the headlines.
DiCiccio distributed a link to the video in a press release along with the following statement:
“These are actual threats made to our 911 operators by anti-police extremists. Listen to these tapes yourself. Remember some on the council support these individuals and their agenda. These groups are terrorizing our 911 operators. They’re posting their personal information online. They will continue to terrorize our operators, our police, their families, and our city until you decide enough is enough. Politicians are worthless. We need your help to protect our police and 911 operators. Please share this video.”
He also uploaded the video to Twitter and Facebook with posts that included unedited quotes from the calls.
The callers appeared to be referring to the cellphone video of a police response to a shoplifting call that made national news last month.
Phoenix Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said in an email Monday evening that around 1800 calls came into the phone center during the period after video of the incident was released.
“As a result, Phoenix Police Investigators are currently reviewing them for evidence of viable threats,” he said. “Those particular calls that are determined to contain the necessary elements of a threatening statement will be investigated.”
The controversial cellphone footage shows an officer with his gun pulled threatening a pregnant woman and using expletives while she is holding a baby. Another officer is seen handling a man roughly.
The incident reportedly was sparked by a 4-year-old girl taking a doll from a discount store on May 27.
On June 13, the family involved, Dravon Ames, Iesha Harper and two young children, filed a notice of claim laying out their plans to sue the city for $10 million.
The incident prompted Mayor Kate Gallego and Chief Jeri Williams to take part in a community meeting at which citizens voiced their frustrations with the police department.
A day later, anti-police protesters descended upon the regularly schedule City Council meeting and had their say.
At one point, the protesters shouted down DiCiccio and called him a racist when he defended the police officers.
“You are anarchists and you are out to destroy the city,” DiCiccio told demonstrators in the audience.
By the end of the month, two other multimillion-dollar claims had been filed against the city over police behavior.