A Phoenix police officer who pointed a gun and yelled profanities at a Black family in May will be fired, the chief of police said Tuesday.
“The Disciplinary review board (DRB) recommended [Meyer] receive a six-week unpaid suspension, but the decision on discipline is mine,” Chief Jeri Williams said at a news conference. “And after meeting with the officer Chris Meyer personally, and considering all the facts of the case, I have notified him of my intention to terminate his employment.”
In June, the Phoenix Police Department opened an investigation into some of its officers over their use of excessive force in a shoplifting-theft incident involving 22-year-old Dravon Ames.
We previously reported, viral video of the May 29 incident shows officer Meyer screaming threats at a family in a van; Dravon, his pregnant fiancé Aisha Harper, 24, and their two young daughters.
“You’re gonna f*cking get shot!” the cop yells at one point. “I’m gonna put a f*cking cap in your f*cking head.”
Ames, Harper and their daughters, Island, 4 and 1‑year-old London, were held at gunpoint after Island walked out of a dollar store with a Barbie-like doll – unbeknownst to the parents.
The arresting cops lied in their reports, neglecting to mention their threats to kill the family. They also reportedly turned off their dash and body cameras. As one Twitter user noted, “This is not unconscious bias. It’s malicious, calculated, life-threatening racism.
A disciplinary review board recommended Meyer receive a six-week suspension.
“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 said Tuesday.
“Unlike other professions, we don’t have a luxury of a do-over,” she said.
Months after the incident, Ames and Harper said they’re still shaken.
“Some nights we don’t get no sleep. Some nights you just still think about what happened,” said Ames. “So to know that he’s been fired gives us some type of relief, but there is still a lot more work to be done.”
Ames is referring to police reform and the family’s impending settlement with the city.
“This is partial justice for my clients. For them to get full justice, the job is now mine to get them compensation in the lawsuit,” said attorney Tom Horne. “We will try to mediate, if the city is reasonable, we will settle.”