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Police Enter Home With No Warrant Taser Father Holding His Baby

Black Lives Matter Metro Phoenix and the People’s Law Firm are demanding three Tempe, AZ police officers are fired after they repeatedly tased a man in his own apartment while he was holding his 1-year-old child.

The incident, which was captured by an officer’s body camera, took place on June 15, 2019, when 31-year old Ivaughn Oakry answered a knock on his door from Officer Ronald Kerzaya. Kerzaya was responding to a call on the police non-emergency line from the mother of Ivaughn’s children, MeKeyla Brand. According to audio of the call, Mekeyla alleged that “someone” had “put his hands” on her. During the call Ivaughn can be heard in the background shouting at MeKeyla to leave the home.

Later in the day, MeKeyla told police that Ivaughn had pushed her multiple times.

MeKeyla also stated that she had a verbal altercation with Ivaughn about thirty minutes before officers arrived at the apartment.

The body camera footage of the incident shows Officer Kerzaya knocking on Ivaughn’s door. When Ivaughn answers, Kerzaya says, “Okay, what’s happening?”

Ivaughn responds, “Nothing.”

Kerzaya says, “Well that’s not what I’m being told.” After Ivaughn says that he is in his home, the officer walks through the door without warning and orders the 31-year-old to put his hands behind his back. At least two other officers appear in the video during the confrontation with Ivaughn.

Ivaughn refuses Kerzaya’s demands and says, “Bro, you’re not allowed in here.”

Ivaughn’s children can be seen and heard crying in the video after Kerzaya accompanied by other officers enter the apartment and point tasers at their father.

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Ivaughn repeatedly pleads for the officers not to tase him in front of his children. 

About 46 seconds after Kerzaya enters Ivaughn’s home, the father’s 1-year-old baby walks up to him and Ivaughn picks him up. Kerzaya orders Ivaughn to put his baby down and says, “Look, you’re going to get tased.” 

Kerzaya continues to order Ivaughn to put the child down, but Ivaughn refuses. At about 3:40 in the video, MeKeyla, the woman who called police after her altercation with Ivaughn, can be heard saying, “He didn’t do anything.” It is unclear at what point in the video Brand enters the apartment.

At about 4:35 in the video, MeKeyla repeats that “nothing happened.”

Officer Kerzaya responds to MeKeyla saying, “No, that’s not how this works. You called us out here. You need to get out of the apartment now.”

Ivaughn pulls out his cellphone and appears to begin recording the officers, still demanding the get out of his house.

Shortly after, an off-screen officer says, “Do it. Do it. Do it.” The three officers tase Ivaughn, causing him to scream and fall into a pile of clothes as he holds his baby. One of the officers quickly grabs the baby and hands him to Brand.

Ivaughn was later arrested and booked into Tempe city jail. He was charged with misdemeanor assault for allegedly pushing the mother of his children while intoxicated, and with child endangerment for picking up his baby before he was tased. Tempe city prosecutors dropped both charges in August.

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Heather Hamel, the lawyer representing Ivaughn, alleged to New Times that Tempe police did not have a right to enter Ivaughn’s home that day, a point disputed by police. She said they did not have a warrant or permission.

At least three officers entered the home without a warrant, according to Hamel. The mother of the children was outside the house at the time the officers entered.

“The Fourth Amendment prohibits the police from entering a home without a search warrant or consent unless there are exigent circumstances,” Hamel wrote in a statement. “Tempe PD cannot argue such circumstances exist here because the woman who initiated a call was outside of the home when the police arrived.”

Tempe police published its own press release at about 10 a.m., denying the child was hurt. In its statement, the police department said no use-of-force violations occurred, but that it has implemented new training procedures in light of the incident. Tempe PD’s full statement at the bottom of this story.

“Although, Oakry was affected by the taser, the child was not injured and there was no evidence of the child being struck with the taser probes,” the statement says, adding that police had responded that day to “a call for service regarding a domestic violence assault.”

“Officers developed a lawful right to enter the residence to contact involved party, Ivaughn Oakry, for a domestic violence-assault investigation,” the statement goes on to say. “While attempting to speak to Oakry, he became verbally combative with officers. During this time, Oakry committed endangerment by picking up his one year old child who walked up to him and refused to put the child down… Officers on scene decided to deploy their tasers on Oakry on the opposite side of his body from where he was holding his child. When officers deployed their tasers and hit Oakry, he fell onto a pile of clothing in trash bags while holding the child. Oakry continued to resist but was eventually taken into custody by several officers. Officers were able to safely retrieve the child and bring the child to his mother.”

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A Tempe Fire Medical Rescue team told police that neither the child nor Oakry were injured, the statement says, and that no evidence shows “the taser barbs or cords made contact with the child Oakry was holding.”

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10 comments

Police Enter Home With No Warrant Taser Father Holding His Baby | Lokol Buzz November 7, 2019 at 11:35 am

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Reply
Colin Moore November 7, 2019 at 12:39 pm

POLICE ARE A BOUNCE OF LIARS. i DON’T TRUST THEM PERIOD. AS A BLACK MAN i AM SCARE OF POLICE.

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Kyle November 8, 2019 at 7:44 am

What kind of scumbag uses a child as a human shield?! His OWN child nonetheless!

I clicked on this article thinking “Oh man what were these cops thinking?”

And I end up seeing a man grabbing a child and hiding behind it during a confrontation with police that he started? And people are defending HIM? He should be arrested just for that. The police are showing more concern for the children than their own father.

Shame on him. A man should defend his children, not endanger them.

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PEG November 12, 2019 at 10:00 pm

These scumbag cops had no right to do this in this man’s home, especially in front of his children. Another example of police brutality at its finest. A bunch of low life crooks.

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PEG November 12, 2019 at 10:04 pm

you’re just as sick as the cops.

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PEG November 12, 2019 at 10:05 pm

You’re just as sick as the cops.

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K November 14, 2019 at 3:51 am

A scared child going to his/her Dad, when in a scary situation, is far from “using child as human shield.”

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Kcal November 16, 2019 at 3:23 am

What kind of cop enters a home with no warrant? An allegation of wrongdoing does not, I repeat, does not constitute the ability to enter ones property, search that property or detain an individual. This is a land of laws and no one should be held to the law more than the ones being paid to uphold it.

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B. Daring November 12, 2019 at 2:27 pm

This could have ended a lot worse than what it did. First, you can hear the two older kids crying, when the cops walked up. The baby, saw his daddy was agitated, so he wanted to be held. The mom, should’ve grabbed ALL three kids, when the cops came, so they wouldn’t further be traumatized. Both said nothing happened..okay, why so angry then. Talk to the cops outside, if you don’t want them entering your house. They showed concern for both him and the baby. They told him several times, put the baby down, put your hands on your head or you’ll get tased. When he did get tased, he fell on top of the baby. I do pray, that the baby didn’t get hurt. And, people can thumbs down my comment if they want, the cops weren’t in the wrong here.

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Kcal November 16, 2019 at 3:25 am

No warrant, no sight or sound of danger or a crime. Absolutely no entry. Cops have to follow the laws as well. It’s funny to me how you can’t recognize when an officer is violating the law.

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