A to Z

Ducey: Video of Phoenix police holding black family at gunpoint is ‘disturbing’ and ‘unacceptable’

By: - June 17, 2019 5:09 pm

Rep. Anthony Kern (left) poses next to Gov. Doug Ducey and two unidentified members of the Tombstone Marshal’s Office at the Arizona State Fair on Oct. 27, 2018. Kern worked as a marshal in Tombstone from 2016 until 2018. Photo by Tombstone Marshal’s Office | Facebook

While warning that the full story hasn’t been made public, Gov. Doug Ducey said he found video of Phoenix police officers pointing guns and screaming expletives at a black couple and their two young children “disturbing” and “unacceptable.”

Phoenix officers followed the family to an apartment complex after responding to a call from a Family Dollar employee who said the couple’s four-year-old daughter shoplifted a doll. In the parking lot of the apartment complex, the officers were caught on video pointing their guns at the couple, including a pregnant woman who was holding a child, and repeatedly threatening to shoot them.

“The video was disturbing. What I know is that there’s more to this story. So, I want to let the investigation play out,” Ducey told reporters on Monday. “I want to see equal justice under the law for all people in our state. And what I saw on the video is unacceptable.”

Ducey gave credit to Phoenix Police Department Chief Jeri Williams, saying she has appeared transparent and determined to get to the truth of the matter. Williams has publicly apologized for the officers’ conduct.

Ducey, who is the son of a police officer, added that he applauds police officers and the work they do.

“I’m someone who sees the complexities in the job of being a first responder or a police officer. I think it’s a difficult job, and I do think you should be held to the highest standard,” he said. “And I do think technology can help here. I know that cameras are being rolled out in the different precincts in Phoenix police. I think we all ought to behave as if we’re on camera, especially in a setting like this.”

The governor said he won’t comment further on the incident until an investigation into it is completed.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Jeremy Duda
Jeremy Duda

Jeremy Duda is a Phoenix native and began his career in journalism in 2003 after graduating from the University of Arizona. Jeremy Duda previously served as the Mirror's associate Editor. Prior to joining the Arizona Mirror, he worked at the Arizona Capitol Times, where he spent eight years covering the Governor's Office and two years as editor of the Yellow Sheet Report. Before that, he wrote for the Hobbs News-Sun of Hobbs, NM, and the Daily Herald of Provo, Utah. Jeremy is also the author of the history book “If This Be Treason: the American Rogues and Rebels Who Walked the Line Between Dissent and Betrayal.”