Jay-Z’s company, Roc Nation, has offered to assist a Phoenix, Arizona couple who say they were “terrorized” by Phoenix police officers.
The incident occurred on May 27, after the pair — Dravon Ames and Iesha Harper — visited a local Family Dollar store in the area. The two were accompanied by their two children, including their 4-year-old daughter who they say accidentally took a doll from the store without either of them noticing.
Shortly after leaving the store, the parents said police surrounded their car in a nearby apartment complex parking lot, with multiple officers allegedly ordering Ames to exit the vehicle. In one bystander video of the incident, Officer Christopher Meyer is heard yelling at Ames to put his hands up, before telling him, “I’m gonna put a f–king cap in your f–king head.”
Another video shows police pointing their guns in the direction of the family’s vehicle, where Harper was seated with the two children. An officer then ordered Harper to get out of the vehicle, to which she replied, “I have two kids.” An officer is heard telling her, “I don’t give a sh-t, put your hands up.”
No charges were filed against the couple after the store manager declined to press charges, but Ames and Harper have since filed a $10 million lawsuit against the city for alleged police brutality. Jay-Z’s company has offered to help the couple with this effort, providing the services of New York-based attorney Alex Piro pro-bono. The couple retained the services of attorney Tom Horne before receiving Jay-Z’s offer.
A rep for Roc Nation said they’re concerned about “the well-being” of the couple’s children and believe the responding officers should be fired, as Arizona Central reported.
On Friday, Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams referred to the incident as “disturbing” and said she had opened an internal investigation into the matter, while Mayor Kate Gallego said the officers’ actions were “completely inappropriate and clearly unprofessional.”
But Williams seemingly shifted gears Monday after the Phoenix Police Department released store surveillance footage which reportedly showed Ames shoplifting underwear. “This is more than about just about a doll,” Williams said. “They were adults who went to that business and store, and they committed a theft.”