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Phoenix council will vote on $475,000 civil rights abuse settlement

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Posted at 2:35 PM, Aug 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-12 14:30:48-05

PHOENIX — Phoenix City Council will vote Wednesday on whether to settle a legal claim for a phoenix family who claims officers used excessive force when they were accused of shoplifting.

Dravon Ames, Iesha Harper, and their children were stopped and confronted by officers in May 2019. Phoenix officers held their young family at gunpoint and screamed obscenities, and Officer Christopher Meyer leg swept a handcuffed Ames, who appeared to be complying. They were not arrested nor charged in the shoplifting case.

A witness captured video of the police encounter that went viral, and the couple filed a notice of claim against Phoenix alleging civil rights violations.

Phoenix City Council will vote on whether to settle with Harper for $475,000. Sources familiar with the negotiations tell ABC15 that Ames will receive $25,000, which is under the threshold to need council approval.

The Ames-Harper case led to reform within the Phoenix Police Department. Chief Jeri Williams apologized to the family, and she started requiring all patrol officers to wear body cameras and report every time they point a gun at a person. Officer Christopher Meyer was fired.