Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Friday 27 January 2023 Dublin: 5°C
# phoenix
'Get out of the f*****g car' - US family face police guns after toddler allegedly takes doll from shop
The mayor of the city of Phoenix has issued an apology to the family

ABC News / YouTube

THE MAYOR OF the US city of Phoenix has apologised after videos emerged showing police in the southwestern US city violently arresting a family with young children.

The videos, shot when the arrest happened last month, show police using foul language while shouting at the family to get out of their car, and threatening to shoot them.

A woman later emerges from the vehicle with two young children. She hands them over to a bystander before being arrested.

Separately, an officer is shown kicking the legs of another man who he is handcuffing against a police car.

In filings for a $10 million lawsuit the family are taking against the city, a solicitor for them states that the incident began after their four-year-old child had taken a doll from a store.

A one-year-old child and two parents were also in the car. 

The lawsuit details that the police officer came to the side of their car with a gun drawn and shouted a number of threats including “I’m going to put a cap in your ass” and “I’m going to shoot you in your fucking face”. 

The lawsuit alleges civil rights violations.

Mayor Kate Gallego has posted a statement on Twitter in response to the video. 

“I, like many others, am sick over what I have seen in the video depicting Phoenix police interacting with a family and young children,” Gallego wrote.

Calling the officers’ actions “inappropriate” and “clearly unprofessional,” she wrote “There is no situation in which this behavior is ever close to acceptable.”

“I am deeply sorry for what this family went through, and I apologise to our community,” she said.

In an appearance on the local ABC affiliate, Phoenix police chief Jeri Williams said the officers had responded to a report of shoplifting when they encountered the family.

“I’m sorry this incident happened,” she said, adding that it was being investigated.

The incident comes amid heightened scrutiny of law enforcement in the public in the United States following a series of high-profile killings of African-Americans.

In response, departments across the country have announced reforms such as requiring officers to wear body cameras, which Gallego said Phoenix would speed up in the wake of the controversy.

© – AFP 2019 with reporting by Rónán Duffy

Related Tags


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel