Officer who pulled gun over 4-year-old girl allegedly shoplifting will be fired, department says


The Arizona police officer who pulled his gun on the parents of a 4-year-old who allegedly stole a doll from a dollar store will be fired, his police department announced Tuesday.

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said that Christopher Meyer, the officer involved in the May 27 incident caught on video, will be terminated after the department completes its internal investigation, CNN reported.

The Phoenix Police Department originally recommended Meyer receive a six-week, unpaid suspension, but Williams said she believed his "unacceptable" use of force required a harsher punishment.

"In this case, a 240-hour suspension is just not sufficient to reverse the adverse effects of his actions on our department and our community," Williams at a press conference Tuesday.

A 12-minute video of the incident, recorded by bystanders and posted to Facebook, shows what happened after Meyer accused the 4-year-old daughter of Dravon Ames and Iesha Harper of stealing a "Barbie-like" doll from a Family Dollar store.

The couple, who said they didn't notice their daughter had walked out with the toy, left the store and later pulled into an apartment complex to drop the 4-year-old off with a babysitter. Meanwhile, Meyer and another officer — who has been given a written reprimand for his involvement — were responding to a shoplifting call from the Family Dollar.

One of the officers approached the couple's car, and began knocking on the window and yelling at them.

"I'm going to f****** put a cap in your f***ing head!" the officer says at one point in the video.

The footage later shows one of the officers handcuffing Ames outside of the car before kicking him multiple times and saying: "When I tell you to do something, you f****** do it."

Harper is then asked to exit the car by the other officer, who also has his gun drawn. At one point, he can be seen trying to pull her child out of her arms.

"I really thought he was gonna shoot me in front of the kids," Harper said at the time.

Harper and Ames filed a $10 million lawsuit against the police department in June, saying the officers involved committed battery, unlawful imprisonment, false arrest and inflicted emotional distress on their family. Jay-Z's entertainment company, Roc Nation, even offered to help fund legal support for the couple.

"The situation shouldn't have happened," Harper told AZ Central in June. "It was very scary and it was all over a doll."

The controversial incident was criticized by a number of politicians, including Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and 2020 presidential candidates Kamala Harris and Julian Castro.

"I am deeply sorry for what this family went through, and I apologize to our community. This is not who we are, and I refuse to allow this type of behavior to go unchallenged," Mayor Gallego said in a statement.