When parents deny a youngster a desired toy, a child may be tempted to take the object without a parent's approval. Though shoplifting is illegal, these incidents can be handled calmly. One Phoenix family was terrorized after what could be considered a case of police brutality.
According to the family's account, the man shoplifted an item, and the woman stated that one of the children may have taken a doll. At some point, police were called to the store and approached the family's car with their firearms ready. One officer reportedly opened the car door and made several intimidating statements toward the father while two children, ages 1 and 4, were in the vehicle.
Another officer ordered the expectant mother out of the car, though she was holding the youngest child. It could not be seen from the police dash camera, but it appears that the man was forcibly shoved onto the car and threatened with being shot for resisting. There was no clear evidence that either of the two adults resisted. The store owner declined to press any charges.
After viewing video of the frightening encounter, the police chief stated that the department would conduct a review of the incident. The mayor offered a public apology for the actions of the officers and expressed dismay that children witnessed such harsh tactics. She further assured the residents that police would be furnished body cameras in the coming months. The family stated that the apologies did not go far enough in addressing the problems with the actions of the officers.
The Phoenix police chief later issued her own apology to the family. The officers involved have not yet faced any disciplinary measures. The department has had several recent incidents of possible police brutality. Residents who are victims of this type of abuse of power may be unsure how to respond. An experienced attorney can provide guidance in securing just compensation for any damages victims have sustained.