UPDATED 6/15/19 4:53 p.m. ET: Team ROC, Roc Nation's philanthropic arm, has reached out to the Ames family to provide legal support. The team is also calling for the firing of the police officers involved.
“The Phoenix Police Department’s treatment of Dravon Ames, Iesha Harper and their two young children is absolutely sickening," Roc Nation managing director of philanthropy Dania Diaz said in a statement. "There is no place for that behavior in our world —let alone our justice system—and we are calling for the immediate termination of the police officers in question. We are committed to supporting the family to ensure that justice is served.”
The organization has hired Alex Spiro—who Jay Z similarly enlisted following 21 Savage's ICE arrest—to join the family’s legal team free of charge. They plan to file complaints against one of the police officers for child neglect and help the family with its civil lawsuit against the city of Phoenix.
See original story below.
The Phoenix Police Department has launched an investigation after several of its officers were accused of using excessive force on a black family.
A portion of the incident was captured on a cellphone video that shows an unidentified officer handcuffing 22-year-old Dravon Ames before throwing him against a vehicle and sweeping one of his legs. The officer is heard shouting: "If I tell you to do something, you fucking do it!"
"Yes, sir," Ames replies.
Moments later, another officer is seen pointing his gun at the backseat of a vehicle occupied by Ames' pregnant fiancée, Aesha Harper, and their two children. The family eventually steps out of the SUV, and Harper passes off one of the children to a bystander before she is placed in handcuffs.
The video, which was filmed by a witness, was later posted to the police department's Facebook and has since generated accusations of police brutality and excessive force.
"The Phoenix Police Department takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and for this reason, this incident is currently being investigated by the Professional Standards Bureau," Sgt. Tommy Thompson wrote on Facebook.
According to AZCentral, officers confronted Ames and Harper because their 4-year-old child had allegedly stolen a toy from a dollar store; however, the couple was not charged in the incident.
"The situation shouldn't have happened," Harper tells the outlet. "It was very scary and it was all over a doll."
The family has since filed a notice of claim in which they accuse the officers of battery, unlawful imprisonment, false arrest, infliction of emotional distress, and violation of civil rights. They are seeking $10 million from the City of Phoenix—$2.5 million for each of the four family members.
"We're talking about a little doll that's worth maybe $5 and the horrors that came from the overreaction to that," said the family's attorney, former Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne.
A source tells Complex that Team ROC, the philanthropic division of JAY-Z's Roc Nation, is looking into the incident to determine how they can assist. The organization has provided extensive legal aid in a number civil rights and social justice-related cases. They've helped 21 Savage in his immigration battle; Meek Mill in his decade-old gun and drug case; as well as an 11-year-old student who was arrested because he refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.