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Former Phoenix officer's final appeal denied, after viral leg sweep and violent threats

Christopher Meyer and Dravon Ames
Posted at 9:50 PM, Nov 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-02 01:24:30-04

PHOENIX — A former Phoenix police officer, who was caught on camera kicking a handcuffed father's leg and threatening to shoot parents in front of their kids, will not get his job back.

More than two years after the viral incident, and multiple hearings and appeals, the City of Phoenix Civil Services Board has told Officer Christopher Meyer that his 2019 termination has been upheld.

The board determined Meyer did not violate all four "charges" levied against him, regarding policy violations, but found evidence to support two that warranted his firing.

They wrote in their decision to uphold his dismissal that Meyer had been "incompetent or inefficient" as well as "abusive or threatening" during his encounter with Dravon Ames, Iesha Harper, and their children.

Meyer was a Phoenix cop for more than 24 years, but his decades on the force are defined by less than 24 minutes.

After making a traffic stop, following an alleged shoplifting and failure to stop incident, Meyer threatened to "put a f***ing cap in [the] f***ing head"put a f***ing cap in [the] f***ing head" of Dravon Ames. He repeatedly cursed at the father, his pregnant fiancé, and their two children, even as they complied.

He later had startling omissions in the police report, which was also cited as reason for his termination.

Internally, it was recommended that Meyer receive a six-week suspension, but Chief Jeri Williams said she made the decision to fire him because "the trust was eroded and tarnished the brand of the Phoenix Police Department."

Meyer's attorneys filed a complaint alleging the City of Phoenix was ignoring evidence and those internal recommendations for a suspension.

Meyer asked that a court allow him to get his old job back, as well as back pay for the months he was fired and attorney's fees.

In the complaint, his attorneys criticize Chief Williams for talking to the media "before the investigation," they sanitize Meyer's language, and they call the handcuffed leg sweep "consistent with training."

His lawyers alleged in an earlier filing that when the City's Civil Service Board upheld Meyer's termination in 2020, two boards members were wrong to talk about the "racial component."

Arizona POST, which oversees officer's certifications, will also have a hearing in the future to discuss Meyer.

If he loses, he could be stripped of his certification and banned from Arizona law enforcement completely.

In August 2020, the City of Phoenix settled the incident with the family for $500,000.