A Cop Pointed a Gun at a Pregnant Woman and Her Family. It Took 5 Months for Him to Get Fired.

In a viral video, you can hear the Phoenix officer yelling, “You’re going to fucking get shot” and “I’m going to put a fucking cap in your fucking head”
October 23, 2019, 3:46pm
In a viral video, you can hear the Phoenix officer yelling “You’re going to fucking get shot” and “I’m going to put a fucking cap in your fucking head”

Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here.

One of the Phoenix cops who held a black family at gunpoint this past May — caught in a viral video where you can hear him yelling “You’re going to fucking get shot” and “I’m going to put a fucking cap in your fucking head” — was fired Tuesday after the city’s police chief decided an unpaid suspension wasn’t enough punishment.

Christopher Meyer had been with the police department for more than two decades when he was called on May 27 to respond to an allegation that a toddler had shoplifted a cheap doll.

Advertisement

Dravon Ames and his pregnant fiancee, Iesha Harper, had just finished shopping at a local dollar store and were dropping off their kids, a 4-year-old and 1-year-old, at a babysitter’s apartment when officers swarmed their vehicle and began screaming at them to put their hands up. Concerned residents from the nearby apartment captured the interaction on video, which quickly went viral.

Throughout the interaction, Meyer repeatedly threatened to shoot Ames and attempted to pull Harper’s 1-year-old from her arms. Meyer eventually found a “box with a doll in it in the back seat,” according to the Phoenix New Times. The family said the doll was taken by the 4-year-old on accident, according to the Arizona Republic. They were never charged with any crime in connection to the doll.

Immediately after the incident, Meyer and the officer he was with, who hasn’t been identified, were placed on “non-enforcement assignments” and the department announced it would conduct an internal investigation. The Phoenix Police Department’s Disciplinary Review Board ultimately recommended that Meyer receive a six-week unpaid suspension for the incident, which Police Chief Jeri Williams said she found insufficient.

“The decision on discipline is mine,” Williams said during a news conference Tuesday. “And after meeting the officer Chris Meyer personally, and considering all the facts of the case, I have notified him of my intention to terminate his employment. A 240-hour suspension is just not sufficient to reverse the adverse effects of his actions on our department and on our community.”

Advertisement

The second officer received a written reprimand, according to the Arizona Republic. Meyer will have the opportunity to appeal his firing.

The family has filed a $10 million lawsuit against Phoenix, seeking damages for an incident they’ve said traumatized them. In a news conference responding to the firing, Ames said he was pleased Meyer would be leaving the department.

“It gives us hope, you know, it gives us a little hope that they are moving in the right direction,” he said.

Separately, Williams announced Tuesday that she fired another cop not involved with the May incident, Clinton Swick, because he had made offensive posts about Muslims on Facebook. A police sergeant, Daniel Beau Jones, was also fired, but Williams didn’t say why.

Cover: Rev. Jarrett Maupin, left, arrives with Dravon Ames, second from left, Iesha Harper, second from right, and one of the family's two daughters, 1-year-old London, prior to the start of a community meeting, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)