We recently reported about a family in Phoenix who is suing the police for $10 million after they approached their family with guns drawn over an alleged stolen doll from a Family Dollar store. Well, now it’s being reported that the billionaire hip hop mogul Jay Z is stepping in to offer the family financial assistance in their legal battle against the police.
According to Arizona Central, Hova’s Roc Nation has offered to provide legal support for the Phoenix couple that accused police of using excessive force and threatening to shoot them in an incident that since gone viral.
22-year-old Dravon Ames was with his 24-year-old pregnant fiancée, Iesha Harper, and their two young children on May 29 near 36th and Roosevelt streets when several Phoenix police officers approached their car with guns drawn after their daughter walked out of a Family Dollar store with a doll.
The shocking video shows officers screaming and cursing at the couple in front of their children to “put your fucking hands up.” One officer can be seen pointing a gun at the car with the children inside, while another can be heard saying, “You’re gonna fucking get shot!” Another officer is seen slamming Ames’ face against a police car and then kicking his legs apart. Meanwhile, another officer attempts to yank Harper’s 1-year-old daughter out of her arms.
The family has since filed a notice of claim against the city of Phoenix where they are seeking $10 million in damages. The notice of claim was filed Thursday and says the police officers committed battery, unlawful imprisonment, false arrest and infliction of emotional distress in addition to violating their civil rights, AZCentral reports.
Roc Nation has reportedly reached out to the family to provide legal support, call for the termination of the police officers and “ensure the well-being of the children,” said Didier Morais, a PR spokesperson for the organization.
Team ROC enlisted the help from high-profile attorney Alex Spiro who has joined the family’s legal team pro-bono and plans on filing against one of the officers for child neglect, Morais said. Roc Nation rapper Meek Mill also blasted the encounter on his Twitter account Friday.
In a statement, Roc Nation Managing Director of Philanthropy Dania Diaz said the incident was “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.”
Phoenix police have since countered the couple’s accusations by releasing a 16-page incident report Friday, where they claim the couple stole other items from the store and were combative with police. Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams commented released a two-minute video response to the department’s Facebook page Friday where she said she was “disturbed by the language and actions of our officer.”
“I assure you this incident is not representative of the majority of Phoenix police officers that serve this city,” Williams said.