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Outrage

Thousands gather in Phoenix church to express frustration at police who pulled guns on family

By WITW Staff on June 19, 2019

Following a Phoenix police incident that roiled the nation, thousands gathered at a Phoenix church to express frustration with the police department, The Arizona Republic reports, with community members saying the police failed them.

Residents packed Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, sharing their disgust at seeing a video that showed Phoenix police aggressively pointing guns and shouting threats at Dravon Ames and his pregnant fiancée, Iesha Harper, as well as their two young daughters. The police had confronted the family after their four-year-old allegedly took a doll from a Family Dollar store.

The video, taken by a bystander, prompted apologies from Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams and Mayor Kate Gallego over the actions of the officers, according to the Republic. At the church event on Tuesday night, Williams and Gallego sat alongside other officials and listened to community members express their fury and fear.

Ames said Monday that he feared his family would be “executed” by the officers, according to NBC News. He and his fiancée both said they’re grateful that the bystander took a video of the May 29 incident.

The couple said the officers should be fired. “It feels like it’s a half apology; the officers are still working,” Ames said. “It just basically a slap in the face. It’s like putting some lemon juice on an open wound. It’s hurting us even more that they’re still working; nothing is being done.”

Read the full story at The Arizona Republic and NBC News.

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