PHOENIX (AP) - Protesters angered by a video of Phoenix officers who pointed guns and yelled obscenities at a black family they suspected of shoplifting crowded City Council chambers Wednesday to demand police reforms.

[WATCH: Tensions rise during Phoenix City Council meeting over police brutality]

Scores of people began assembling about an hour before the regular meeting carrying signs and banners with slogans such as, "Fire the Police" and "Stop Police Brutality and Impunity."

[RELATED: Couple want Phoenix officers fired who pointed guns over shoplifting]

Once the meeting began, speakers called on the council to fire the officers involved in the videotaped incident and to set up a board of civilians to oversee changes in police department procedures.

"You cannot pass the budget until you fire the cops," resident Jennifer Hernandez told the council, who was scheduled to discuss the city's annual spending plan. "It is our lives on the line."

[SPECIAL SECTION: Phoenix Police Misconduct Allegations]

The protesters shouted down City Councilman Sal DiCiccio, calling him a racist when he defended the police officers.

"You are anarchists and you are out to destroy the city," DiCiccio told the demonstrators in the audience.

[RELATED: Phoenix PD releases surveillance video of shoplifting incident before alleged officer misconduct]

DiCiccio got push back for sticking up for officers and Mayor Kate Gallego scolded the crowd.

Rev. Jarrett Maupin was at the Council meeting with the family and said he wants the City Council to come up with some sort of resolution, ordinance or anything that will hold the officers involved accountable.

The new protest followed a Tuesday night meeting that drew hundreds of people to a downtown church to address the video, which was taken by a bystander who watched police confront Dravon Ames and his pregnant fiancee, Iesha Harper, who was holding their 1-year-old daughter. The couple say their 4-year-old daughter took a doll from a store without their knowledge.

[ORIGINAL STORY: Phoenix police investigating after officers accused of misconduct]

"Real change starts with the community," Police Chief Jeri Williams said Tuesday night to a sometimes-hostile crowd comprised mainly of black and Hispanic residents.

Williams, who is black, said the meeting would not be the last, adding: "We are here to listen. We are here to make change."

The race of the officers has not been made public.

Ames told the crowd Tuesday that he and his family were lucky to be alive after the incident.

Others who spoke included the father of Jacob Harris, a 19-year-old black man who was shot and killed by a Phoenix officer in January following an armed robbery.

Also on Tuesday, Phoenix police released surveillance video aimed at backing up their assertion that the adults and not just a child were shoplifting before the incident.

The heavily edited store video showed a man taking something from a display rack and examining it, but it's unclear what happened to the package when he walked off camera.

Another snippet of video showed a little girl with a doll in a box walking out of the store accompanied by adults.

A police statement last week about the incident in late May stated that Ames told police he threw a pair of stolen underwear out of his car. Police also say a woman traveling in a different vehicle was arrested separately for stealing aluminum foil.

The store decided not to prosecute, and no charges have been filed.

The couple has filed a $10 million claim against the City, alleging civil rights violations.

[VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED: Phoenix police officers under investigation for alleged misconduct]

Ames has a pending case on charges of aggravated assault of a police officer in an unrelated incident that followed a traffic accident last year in suburban Tempe. Court documents say Ames unsuccessfully tried to kick officers several times when they arrested him on suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana.

Phoenix police have not responded to repeated questions about whether the officers on the video were aware of, or influenced by, Ames' earlier case. Civil liberties attorney Sandra Slaton has called the prior case irrelevant.

The police chief has said an investigation into the officers' actions is underway.

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(24) comments

Ozy Zoeller

I commend the officers for doing what they were sworn in to do. I can see no injustice being done here and believe the outcome should have been the same whatever color their skin was.


In many cases wher police officers "misbehave", the community not only demands the firing of the police officers but also the removal of the Chief of Police. Why not in this case? When this couple goes to court over the civil lawsuit, they must come with clean hands. They're not clean. Yes, I think the police may have over reacted. But it doesn't justify a $10 million lottery check. The parents failed miserably in supervising their daughter. The parents themselves can't distinguish right from wrong.


The father had been arrested and charged just months ago for shoplifting and assault on a police officer. Now he drives off when an officer tried to talk to him about the items he stole in the store. Along with the doll he has trained his daughter to steal. He is nothing but a thief. Yes, the officers language was a little much but keep in mind they sat in the vehicle for 5 to 10 minutes not complying with the officers directions. Now they are nothing but low life thieves hoping to cash in on this incident. My question to TV3 is this,, Had the people been white and the officers black would we even be hearing of this? I am willing to bet this comment does not get posted.


It's an Obama thing. If Obama had a son he would look just like him.


I believe this goes back to the O/Holder/Lynch policies to NOT prosecute blacks for their crimes, and a general belief among a portion of the black community that somehow they are "exempt" from prosecution for their crimes "because slavery" or some such! Whatever the excuse, we can't have a civilized society without RULES we all abide by, and those who won't are to be prosecuted under those laws NOT based on melanin levels, but on the CRIMINAL BEHAVIORS! Not having a video record of the early part of the interactions, it's kind of "he said/she said" and without knowing the officers involved personally, I can't absolutely say they did nothing out of line; but they were clearly attempting to execute their duties under the extant laws. That their BOSS is NOT standing up for them is deeply disturbing, because it undermines law and order in the community. The bottom line here is that these are REPEAT offenders, not "innocent victims" of anything; and clearly have no intention of changing their behaviors, even teaching their CHILD to do likewise; this cannot be tolerated! Shoplifting costs all of us, not just the "store", so those people stole from ALL our pockets, and not for the 1st time, evidently. To not prosecute them over this blatant effort to block such prosecution is simply not justice for any; either there is justice for all, or there is justice for none.

Otis C

Annnd,they delete comments they don’t agree with. These thieves are not victims, they caused this themselves

Otis C

Tired of this bs.They’re THIEVES. How much other stuff have they stolen without getting caught? They knew the kid was stealing,ran from the cops and have a violent past. And the media portrays them as victims


Criminal behavior rewarded ? Non compliance rewarded ? Using children as shields rewarded ? Pulling the race card rewarded ?


Shouldn't these people be at jobs??


EXACTLY my thoughts!👍👍👍👍👍


Their job is called shoplifting. And why wait for retirement when you play the thug lottery?


I feel no sympathy for this couple, you watched on as your daughter walked out of the store with an item, your daughter may not know better, but a job as a parent is to teach them right from wrong, and when the police are telling you to do something don't argue, just shut your trap and comply.


[beam] well let's make the shoplifting legal [beam] ---[cool]at least is not going to cost $10 million tax dollars to the state for a lawsuit [tongue]


I agree. We should only deport "illegal immigrants" of they commit a crime. I used to think when you committed an illegal act it was a crime. Guess I was wrong. Going to drink and drive now.


No; that's not the answer; and any judge who rules for that pair needs to be impeached or fired IMMEDIATELY, as he is NOT dispensing justice to anyone.

AZ Native

Maupin trying to be another Jesse Jackson. Notice how most of these pot stirrers are "Reverends"? Move your circus on to another city.

Phillup Witgas

I think those officers should get a reward and a pay raise for not shooting those two scumbuckets.




People with jobs don’t have the time to go downtown to protest.



TRUMP supporter

All welfare bums with nothing better to do. Al Sharpton probably paid them to go or offered free bbq in the hood after it was over


No they don't; and they generally realize that what's shoplifted is costing THEM too; not just an inanimate "store".


Complete morons!!! Hope they all become crime victims and zero police response. How low of an I.Q. does it take to see any racism/brutality here? Would of been the same response from police if ANYONE failed to comply and had history of assaulting cops. These snowflakes should just leave the U.S. if they can't figure that out. I hear Syria is lovely this time of year.

TRUMP supporter

And I will help them pack and all these other morons so these criminals can hurry and leave

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