JAY-Z has stepped in on behalf of an Arizona family, who last month found themselves at the center of a confrontation with police after an incident that took place outside of a dollar store in Phoenix. As reported, police drew their weapons after the family's 4-year-old daughter allegedly walked out of the store with a Barbie doll in hand.
Video of the situation, which has since gone viral, captures how the scene escalated quickly. In a statement issued by Team ROC, the philanthropy group associated with JAY-Z's Roc Nation announced that they will be stepping in to offer support and legal backing for the family, noting how police were "caught on video using excessive force and threatening to shoot a pregnant mother over an alleged shoplifting incident."
In addition to assisting the family pursuing legal action against the city, Team ROC is also calling for the Phoenix police department to do the right thing and fire the responding officers involved in the situation. "These officers are unfit to serve," the statement added.
The incident, which reportedly took place on May 27, has since stirred outright, as well as has been addressed by Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, who issued a statement of apology to the family.
"It was completely inappropriate and clearly unprofessional," Gallego said in the statement. "There is no situation in which this behavior is ever close to acceptable. As a mother myself, seeing these children placed in such a terrifying situation is beyond upsetting. I am deeply sorry for what this family went through, and I apologize to our community."
The couple, Dravon Ames and Iesha Harper, has filed a notice of claim against the city for $10 million as their first step towards a formal lawsuit.
Arizona officers were caught using excessive force and threatening to shoot a pregnant mother over an alleged shoplifting incident. #PhoenixPD do the right thing. These officers are unfit to serve. #BarbieIsForLittleBlackGirlsToo #DravonAmes #IeshaHarper https://t.co/YjMhXPRTUN pic.twitter.com/vz1Vurg9Wn— Team Roc (@teamroc) June 15, 2019