A philanthropy affiliated with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, said it is offering support to an Arizona family after a confrontation with police in Phoenix last month following an alleged shoplifting incident.
Team Roc spokesman Didier Morais said Sunday that the group has offered legal and emotional backing to the family.
Officers were “caught on video using excessive force and threatening to shoot a pregnant mother over an alleged shoplifting incident,” Team ROC said on its Facebook and Twitter pages.
“#Phoenix PD do the right thing. These officers are unfit to serve,” a Team Roc post said.
The group is calling for the firing of the officers and ensuring “the well-being of the children,” Morais said, according to news outlet AZ Central.
“Team ROC has secured high-profile attorney Alex Spiro to join the family’s legal team pro-bono and plans on filing against one of the officers for child neglect,” AZ Central said, quoting Morais.
The incident has stirred outrage and prompted Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego to issue an apology to the family – Dravon Ames, Iesha Harper and their two children – after last month’s incident, which began at a Dollar Store.
“It was completely inappropriate and clearly unprofessional. There is no situation in which this behavior is ever close to acceptable,” she said.
Police drew guns on the family after an alleged shoplifting incident. A police report obtained by CNN says that the situation escalated after the couple refused police commands.
The family said the incident was on May 29, but police said it happened May 27. Police said they were made aware of video on June 11.
The couple has filed a notice of claim against the city for $10 million, which serves as a precursor to a lawsuit. In the notice of claim, they say that the police incident began after they realized that their 4-year-old daughter had taken a Barbie doll from the store.
Thomas Horne, an attorney for the couple, told CNN’s “New Day” on Monday that if the city doesn’t respond within 60 days he can file a lawsuit. He and Ames appeared on the show.
“One of the things I think is sometimes missed in all of this is the amount of violence that Dravon was subjected to. The policeman pointed a gun at him, yanked him out of the car, forced him to the ground, pushed his head into the very hot asphalt pavement, handcuffed him too tight, yanked him up, closed the door by hitting his head against the door.
“Lined him up against the car. Kicked his knee so hard that Dravon is limping now and can’t work at the warehouse where he was working, which involves physical work, Punched him in the back. He was really subjected to a lot of violence. The same thing was done to the mother.”
In fact, the mother “gave her child to a stranger because she was so afraid of the police,” Horne said.
In a statement, Gallego said she is “sick over what I have seen in the video depicting Phoenix police interacting with a family and young children.”
“It was completely inappropriate and clearly unprofessional. There is no situation in which this behavior is ever close to acceptable. As a mother myself, seeing these children placed in such a terrifying situation is beyond upsetting. I am deeply sorry for what this family went through, and I apologize to our community.”