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Phoenix City Council Says It Can't Fire Cops Who Confronted Black Couple

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Phoenix leaders said Wednesday that the city charter prevented them from acting on a formal request to fire police officers caught on video pointing guns and hurling obscenities at a black couple.

A representative of the couple made the request before the City Council meeting, which Dravon Ames and his pregnant fiancee, Iesha Harper, attended. They previously asked for the officers to be fired and have filed a $10 million claim against the city.

Mayor Kate Gallego noted that under Phoenix's charter, the council cannot fire administrative employees.

The city's legal staff also said state laws and a memorandum of understanding with the police union prevent termination of officers without due process.

An internal investigation of the officers is underway and their future is in the hands of Police Chief Jeri Williams and the department's professional standards bureau.

At a policy meeting Tuesday, the City Council moved to ease distrust of police in the nation's fifth-largest city.

The council agreed to look into software that can identify officers with problems and voted to consider a survey of community attitudes toward the Police Department.

 

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