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Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams addresses excessive use of force and shoplifting video gone viral

Posted at 3:34 PM, Jun 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-18 17:01:55-04

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams publicly apologized to members of a family who have filed a $10 million claim against the city alleging civil rights violations by police officers.

"Every time I look a that video its extremely unsettling," said Chief Williams in an interview with ABC15 Mornings. "I apologize to the family, I apologize to the community."

See full interview in the video player above.

A video released Friday shows police officers pointing guns and yelling profane commands to a father and a pregnant woman holding a baby . Police had been responding to a report of shoplifting.

"When officers go to make initial contact they run out of the store. We make a traffic stop. As the vehicle is fleeing, the car stops. We arrest one woman who is charged with warrants later. The car flees again," said Chief Williams.

The parents say their 4-year-old daughter had stolen a doll from the store, unbeknownst to them.

"We need to communicate better and we're going to be looking at some different things. We're going to be looking at policy. We're going to be looking at more training," said Chief Williams. "Culture is a good. We are seeing situations of individuals who are tarnishing our reputation not just as Phoenix police officers but as law enforcement in general and I am certain that we are going to repair that."

Williams added that an internal investigation is underway into the incident from late last month.