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Dravon Ames, 22, and Iesha Harper, 24, parents to two young children, were held up in their car at gunpoint in May after police were called to a Family Dollar store in the Arizona city.
A passer-by filmed the incident from a far. In their video, the cops are heard yelling: 'Put your f****** hands up or I'll put a f****** cap in your head.'
Iesha repeatedly told them that she could not raise her arms because she was holding her baby.
Dravon got out of the car first and was put in handcuffs.
Once Iesha and the children were out of the car, one of the officers approached her aggressively, pointed his finger in her face and yelled: 'When I tell you to do something, you f****** do it!' as she held her baby in her arms.
In an incident report, police said the family were suspected of shoplifting multiple items from the store but neither parent has been charged.
After footage of the incident emerged, the philanthropic arm of Jay Z's entertainment company Roc Nation stepped in to help. It has hired a high-powered attorney to join the legal team that is preparing to sue the city of Phoenix for $10million.
Jeri Williams, the city's police chief, spoke out on Sunday to denounce the officers' actions.
She said they had been placed on desk duty pending an investigation.
But rather than declare the parents innocent, she maintained that they had stolen from the store.
In the footage released Friday, cops can be seen pointing their guns at pregnant Iesha Harper and the one-year-old daughter in her arms while telling the children's 22-year-old father Dravon Ames: 'I'm gonna put a f***ing cap in your f***ing head.' The family are pictured during a press conference about their plans to sue the city for $10million
Chilling footage from May 29 shows cops surrounding Ames and his family with guns drawn. The incident is understood to have been sparked by accusations of the theft of a $1 doll
Jeri Williams, Phoenix's chief of police, said on Sunday that she has apologized to the family for the 'unacceptable' behavior of the officers. Jay Z has offered to pay the family's legal bills
'What we saw in that video isn't in keeping with good policing, it's unacceptable,’ she told KPNX-TV.
‘I apologized to the family for the interaction and to be honest with you, I'm apologizing to the community too because that is not what should have happened in that circumstance.
'At the same time, there are more facts to this story. On May 27, adults made the choice to go into a local business and steal items and commit a theft,' she said.
She claims the family then drove away, against police instructions, and that another adult was there.
That adult got out of the vehicle and it drove away again.
When it stopped a second time is when the video began, she claimed.
The internal probe is focused on two officers seen in the video - one of whom has been on the force for more than 20 years.
‘I am with everyone in the community who is angry, who is outraged, I have officers out there who are angry and outraged to see this is what brush we are being painted with when I know we that we're better than that, I know this department is better than that, I know our community is better than that but at the end of the day I have to take responsibility and be accountable,’ Williams said.
Williams says she expects the internal investigation to be expedited due to the intense interest the case has generated nationwide.
Dania Diaz, Roc Nation’s managing director of philanthropy, called the incident ‘absolutely sickening.’
‘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,’ Diaz said.
‘We are committed to supporting the family to ensure that justice is served.’
Roc Nation has offered assistance in other cases of perceived injustice that made headlines nationwide.
In November 2018, the company got involved in the case of a black man who was arrested while wearing a hoodie inside a mall in Memphis.
It also came to the assistance of an 11-year-old Florida boy who was arrested for refusing to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance earlier this year.
Roc Nation also fought against the authorities’ plan to deport rapper 21 Savage.
Jay-Z's company has hired high-powered attorney Alex Spiro (above) to offer pro bono assistance to the family's legal team
Roc Nation has gotten involved in other high-profile cases, including the November 2018 arrest of a black man who wore a hoodie inside a Memphis mall (left) and the government's efforts to deport rapper 21 Savage (right)