Ariz. police officers shown sweeping handcuffed man’s leg, pointing gun at car with children inside

Investigation launched into officers’ conduct

PHOENIX (KNXV/CNN) – The Phoenix Police Department is looking into how some of its officers handled an alleged shoplifting incident.

Cellphone video shows an officer sweeping the leg of a handcuffed man. Seconds later, another officer points his gun in the backseat of a car with children inside.

The video begins with 22-year-old Dravon Ames on the pavement, hands behind his back, being handcuffed by an officer.

Seconds later, Ames is yanked off the ground and pushed up against the squad car, his feet about shoulder-width apart.

That’s when the officer aggressively sweeps his leg, then yells, “If I tell you to do something, you [expletive] do it.”

“Yes sir," Ames replies.

A second officer then draws his gun at a maroon SUV. A pregnant mother and her two daughters step out of the vehicle.

“And the minute he saw that there were children involved, that’s when he holstered his weapon,” said Sgt. Tommy Thompson of Phoenix Police.

Ames and the woman were handcuffed and detained, but neither of them were arrested.

Thompson said Phoenix PD got the video Tuesday.

"We look at every allegation of misconduct very seriously," he said.

The case has been referred to the Professional Standards Bureau.

“Chief Jerri Williams has told PSB to conduct an investigation into this,” Thompson said.

The officer who swept the young man’s leg is now on a non-enforcement assignment.

That same officer screamed profanities at both parents, and tried to take the mother’s baby from her arms.

Neither Ames nor the woman have been charged with a crime.

The officer who had his gun drawn remains on normal patrol.

"We're looking into that matter to see, was it excessive? We don't know," Thompson said.

A family spokesperson claimed the call was over a doll allegedly taken by one of the kids from a dollar store.

"That's part of it,” Thompson said. “But, again, as I've looked into it, I think there's a little bit more to it."

When asked to expand on that answer, Thompson said, "No, that will come through in the investigation."

The family involved in the incident is considering a lawsuit, and they’ve already lined up former Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne to represent them.

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