Dravon Ames & Iesha Harper: 5 Quick Info You Have to Know


Ames-Harper family

Jarrett Maupin

In an unique photograph supplied to Heavy, Dravon Ames, 22, his pregnant fiancée Iesha Harper, 24, and their daughters, Island, Four and 1-year-old London are pictured. The household was terrorized by Phoenix law enforcement officials.

Dravon Ames and his pregnant fiancée Iesha Harper and their two youngsters, a child and toddler, had been terrorized by Phoenix police on Might 27.

What has not beforehand been reported is that Harper says along with being assaulted and informed she was fortunate she and her youngsters weren’t shot, she had her physique searched by a male police officer, which is a violation of Phoenix police division coverage, native pastor Jarrett Maupin mentioned in an interview with Heavy.

Maupin has been working carefully with the Ames-Harper household since information broke concerning the incident, reported first by Meg O’Connor of the Phoenix New Instances.

“They physique searched her,” Maupin mentioned, “and that may be a clear violation. They have to name a feminine officer. That didn’t occur.” Maupin mentioned a feminine lieutenant arrived on the scene however after Harper was already searched.

The household was held at gunpoint by two Phoenix law enforcement officials, Christopher Meyer and Nicholas Welch. Police had been responding to an nameless caller a few attainable shoplifting incident of a greenback retailer Barbie-like doll and a pair of underwear. Court docket paperwork present that the greenback retailer didn’t name for police. With weapons drawn, and screaming conflicting orders stuffed with foul language, the 2 cops surrounded the household at their automotive and threatened to kill them.

The complete video launched by the household’s legal professionals exhibits extra of the incident:

The police weren’t sporting physique cameras.

There are a selection of movies from numerous angles. Officers may be heard screaming and cursing on the couple in entrance of their youngsters to “put your f*****g palms up,” “You’re gonna f*****g get shot,” and, Meyer screamed, “I’m gonna f*****g put a cap proper in your f*****g head.”

Meyer’s title is on the police incident report because the “reporting officer.”

The Phoenix police division mentioned that the officers concerned on nonetheless are the job, albeit assigned to “desk obligation.” Metropolis paperwork verify he Meyer is a Phoenix police officer incomes $72,425 a 12 months.

Within the video, Meyer is seen slamming Ames towards a cruiser and kicking his legs: “Once I let you know to do one thing, you f*****g do it.”

Ames says he’s complying and is seen within the video complying.

Then, the officer is seen attempting to grab Harper’s child out of her arms. He screams at her to place her palms up whereas she’s holding her child. Then screams at her to place the child down on the pavement. Harper mentioned {that a} cop informed her he might have “shot you in entrance of your f*****g youngsters” as she was arrested, handcuffed and positioned inside a police cruiser.

Late Friday afternoon, police issued a press release. They declare that the couple had stolen underwear from the greenback retailer and say that they “shortly” drove away and had been pursued. The couple informed police concerning the doll, police admit within the assertion. However police additionally declare “the person,” presumably Ames, threw a pair of “stolen” underwear out of the automotive window. Police additionally admit they didn’t imagine the household was armed. They mentioned that because the greenback retailer wasn’t fascinated about prosecuting the couple, no fees had been filed. However Ames, police allege, was driving with a suspended license and that led to his automotive being impounded. Police described your complete incident, the violent arrest and threats to shoot the household, as, “a person and lady within the automotive had been taken into custody and detained.”

Then Friday night time, Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams posted a video assertion to Fb. She spoke about her officers “making contact” with the couple. She mentioned, “such as you, I’m disturbed by the language and motion of our officer,” saying the incident is “not consultant of the bulk” of the police division.

Heavy obtained a police report titled ‘shoplifting extreme drive incident report.” It’s says it’s a “redacted” report, however it’s not redacted; it has clean areas for figuring out data.

Right here’s what that you must know:

1. Witnesses Anxious the Household May be Killed. Phoenix Police Officer Christopher Meyer Paints One other Image in His Incident Report, Which the Household Says is Rife With ‘Lies’

Meyer wrote what has been the narrative to this point: the couple’s little one took a greenback retailer Barbie-like doll and the household was pursued primarily based on that shoplifting incident. But it surely reads that the couple had been combative and non-complaint, regardless of the movies all displaying the alternative. It additionally reads that they admitted to having a stolen $.99 doll within the automotive and, the report reads, Ames mentioned there was a pair of underwear that had been taken. The report states that the officer, presumed to be the named “Myer, Meyer or Meyers,” wrote that he feared that Harper was reaching for a weapon when she mentioned she couldn’t put her palms up as a result of she was holding her child. What the report does not state is that police gave combined instructions, held the household at gunpoint, threatened to shoot and kill them, and manhandled, certainly assaulted, courtroom paperwork allege, Ames, Harper and her child she was holding.

Phoenix mayor Kate Gallego tweeted out a press release late Saturday condemning the officer’s actions and promising body-worn cameras shall be utilized by all officers by summer time’s finish and she or he has known as for the police chief to satisfy with the general public and “pay attention on to considerations.”

“Three is not any state of affairs the place this conduct is ever near acceptable,” she wrote.

However Maupin says that the physique worn cameras shall be distributed to precincts and never one for each officer.

“Clearly, extreme drive was used. Clearly, insurance policies and process weren’t adopted. Clearly, physique cameras weren’t being utilized. Clearly, the officers felt empowered to be disrespectful and abusive,” Maupin mentioned. “What we demand to know is, what sort of background these officers have? They held toddlers and a pregnant lady at gunpoint, grabbed a mom and toddler by the neck, dislocated a 1-year-old’s arm, endangered a fragile being pregnant, terrorized and tortured a younger father, and no one was charged or jailed. These officers should be held accountable. We would like justice.”

In an electronic mail to Heavy and in a subsequent cellphone interview, Maupin mentioned, greater than 10 impartial eyewitnesses have agreed to come back ahead and cooperate with the household’s legal professionals and with any investigations that could be carried out.

“We’ve got an unprecedented variety of residents coming ahead to share footage and provides eye-witness accounts. So many residents had been shocked to see police being so abusive with a pregnant mom and children. So many individuals had been involved that the daddy was going to finish up useless due to police brutality and the violence of officers,” Maupin mentioned.

Within the second video, which Maupin believes “is worse than the primary …officers are appearing like bullies and thugs. They endangered an unborn little one and traumatized two toddlers. Disgrace on them and disgrace on the division for not suspending them instantly – with out pay.”

2. The Ames-Harper Household is Suing Phoenix For $10 Million for Battery, Illegal Imprisonment, False Arrest, Emotional Misery & Civil Rights Violations,Their Lawyer Former Arizona Legal professional Normal Tom Horne Says

“The law enforcement officials dedicated battery, illegal imprisonment, false arrest, infliction of emotional misery, and violation of civil rights beneath the fifth and 14th amendments of america Structure,” the declare reads partially.

The declare states that Ames and Harper had been procuring on the greenback retailer and had been pulling in to their babysitter’s constructing a couple of blocks away when police pulled in behind them: “There had been no sirens or lights previous to that indicating that they need to cease their automotive. A police officer, who we imagine is known as Meyer, got here to the entrance driver facet of the automotive with a gun pulled, pulled open the door, and said to the daddy: “I’m going to place a cap in your ass.’ Later he said ‘I’m gonna shoot you in your fucking face.’ Each statements had been in entrance of the youngsters behind the automotive.”

The lawsuit says Phoenix law enforcement officials “Dedicated Battery, Illegal Imprisonment, False Arrest, Infliction of Emotional Misery” and violated the household’s Civil Rights.

The grievance goes on to explain the accounts of Ames, Harper, and what’s seen and heard clearly on the movies:

“The police officer then went to the again door on the motive force facet however couldn’t open it as a result of it was malfunctioning. He banged on the rear window. The mom and the 2 youngsters had been within the backseat on the motive force facet. The police officer mentioned
‘open the fucking door.’ The mom mentioned, ‘the door gained’t open.’ The police officer mentioned “put your fucking palms up”. The mom mentioned ‘my palms are up,’ which they had been on the time.”

“A second officer got here with a gun to the entrance seat on the motive force facet and pointed it on the father. The primary officer pulled the daddy out of the automotive. The daddy didn’t resist in any manner then or at any time. The officer put the daddy on the bottom, and pushed the daddy’s head onto the new pavement. The daddy tried to protest that he was complying and never resisting. The officer said, falsely, that he was resisting. The officer said “you must do what I fucking let you know”. The officer handcuffed the daddy on the bottom. There was no resistance. {The handcuffs} had been too tight. The primary officer then yanked up the daddy by his palms, threw his head towards the door of the automotive which closed the door, after which threw him up towards the again of the automotive. He informed the daddy to unfold his legs, which the daddy did. The officer kicked him in the precise leg so onerous that the daddy collapsed, after which the officer yanked him again up. He stored his knee between the daddy’s legs. He punched the daddy very onerous within the again for no purpose.”

“Extra officers arrived, put the daddy in a police automotive, and stored them there for an hour. They didn’t loosen {the handcuffs} till after half of hour within the automotive. They requested him “did you steal the fucking automotive”. He responded that he owned the automotive, which was a real assertion. The primary officer issued a ticket however put one other officer’s title on the ticket. The automotive was impounded with no justification. The daddy now was unable to get to work. He had been gainfully employed at a warehouse. He’s limping, can not stand straight or carry weight. All of that is lowering his incomes capability.”

In the meantime, because the interplay with Ames was occurring, the opposite officer went for the mom.

3. The Lawsuit Says Harper & Her Kids Had been Terrorized & the Pregnant Mom Was Assaulted, Threatened, Arrested & Had a Male Officer Search Her Physique

“The primary officer then pointed the gun once more on the mom and the youngsters. The second officer walked across the automotive and continued to level a gun on the mom and the youngsters. The mom was pregnant, which was apparent from her look.
The mom and youngsters exited from the rear driver facet. The primary officer grabbed the mom and the child round each of their necks, and tried to take the child out of the mom’s hand. He informed her to place the child on the bottom, which she was
unwilling to do as a result of the child couldn’t stroll, and the bottom consisted of sizzling pavement. The primary officer pulled the child by the arm to get her away from the mom, which injured the arm, in a situation often called ‘useless arm.’”

“The mom gave the kid to a woman bystander. The officers then handcuffed her, which harm her arm. The mom and father each had bruises on her arms. The officer threw her into the police automotive face first. She was stored within the automotive for 15 minutes. The primary officer, Myers, got here again and yelled at her. He stored saying “I might have shot you in entrance of your fuc*ing youngsters.”

Legal professional Horne wrote that the greenback retailer “made no grievance, and the police proceeded on the premise of what they had been informed by some nameless alleged witness.”

Horne wrote that the Phoenix police “dedicated battery, illegal imprisonment, false arrest, infliction of emotional misery, and violation of civil rights beneath the fifth and 14th amendments of america Structure …”

Sadly, the kid, “Island has been having nightmares and wetting her mattress, which she has not executed earlier than this incident.”

“Simply suppose, that four-year previous woman, considered one of her *first reminiscences* shall be of a cop pointing a gun at her mommy whereas threatening to kill her. Take into consideration that. That’s necessary right here. Poor little one. How will she ever really feel secure once more?”

4. Phoenix Police Have Stated They’re Investigating & Provided Their Model of Occasions. The Officers Are Nonetheless on the Job

Phoenix TV information quoted Phoenix Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson as saying Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams “has known as for an investigation by the Skilled Requirements Bureau.”

In a Fb submit, Thompson wrote:

“On June 11, 2019, we had been supplied video of an officer taking two people into custody whereas investigating a shoplifting incident within the space of 3200 East Roosevelt Avenue. This occurred after the suspect automobile was stopped a brief distance from the scene of the theft. It concerned a person and a lady with two babies. Please be suggested, there may be some language which could be thought of offensive. The video is deliberately blurred for redaction functions.”

Many famous that of the opposite movies out there of the incident, Phoenix police Sgt. Thompson used this video, the place bystanders may be heard.

“You are taking this severely, Sgt. Thompson, then these officers are fired with no additional overview and with out pension or advantages of any type. That is all of the proof that’s vital, after which some. You must most likely be fired as nicely.”

“I misplaced fairly a little bit of respect for you guys concerning this submit. First you mute/ blur down the video to flip the story a bit ..then I see the precise unaltered clip…that you must admit that you’ve a rogue cop with critical anger points that may finally price somebody their life.”

“The Phoenix Police Division takes all allegations of misconduct severely and because of this, this incident is at present being investigated by the Skilled Requirements Bureau.”

The feedback on this submit are nearly fully essential of police.

“Disgusting conduct on the law enforcement officials’ half, and in entrance of kids, AND the lady is pregnant. These law enforcement officials should be fired and the remainder of the division must undergo intensive coaching. That is completely unacceptable. SHAME ON YOUR ENTIRE DEPARTMENT FOR HIRING THESE PEOPLE AND FOR THE LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRAINING. You want a serious overhaul if that is how our tax {dollars} are being spent.”

“FIRE THIS OFFICER IMMEDIATELY. Everybody within the division can be in query. Together with whoever selected this model of the video to submit.”

“You aren’t defending. You might be harming. You’re the thugs and folks to concern. Hearth these officers and conform to prosecute. How dare you do that to youngsters.”

“Each officers used overly extreme drive! Why did your officer kick his leg then informed him he wasn’t cooperating?? Why are your officers threatening to shoot this lady?? Wtf!! I wish to see each officer FIRED!!”

Per a report from Phoenix New Instances, Phoenix police launched a press release noting officers “didn’t imagine the household to be in possession of any weapons” They had been pursuing them as a result of they “allegedly stole meals and underwear from a greenback retailer.”

“On Might 27, 2019, at roughly 11:17 a.m., a Phoenix Police Officer was investigating an unrelated shoplifting at a retailer within the space of 1600 N. 36th Avenue, when he was suggested by retailer workers of one other shoplifting. The officer was directed to some people who had been getting right into a automobile. He noticed a lady drop a “meals foil,” when she noticed him. As he walked in the direction of the automobile, the automotive shortly backed up and began to go away parking zone. It stopped at McDowell Highway, and one of many girls acquired out and the automotive drove away. The lady was detained by the officer. It was later discovered the lady he detained had three misdemeanor warrants for her arrest. She was later booked for the warrants.

“An outline of the automobile was broadcasted over the radio. The automobile was situated a brief distance from the shop close to 32nd Avenue and McDowell Highway and it was adopted into the parking zone of an condo advanced within the space of 3200 E. Roosevelt Avenue, the place a person and lady within the automotive had been taken into custody and detained. After being suggested of her rights, the lady who had been detained, mentioned her aunt and little one went into the shop and when she noticed her little one stroll out of the shop with a doll, she believed they’d stolen it, as a result of they didn’t have any cash.

She heard the officer who approached the automotive within the parking zone inform the motive force to cease a number of instances, however he didn’t. After being suggested of his rights, the person mentioned he knew they’d shoplifted from the shop and that he threw a pair of underwear out the window, as a result of he knew they had been stolen. As well as, he said he knew he was driving on a suspended driver license. As a result of the property was returned, the shop workers mentioned they didn’t need prosecution, so nobody was charged with the shoplifting. The person nevertheless, was cited and his automobile was impounded, because of his driving on a suspended license.”

Friday night time, the police chief posted a video assertion to Fb.

The responses to Williams’ assertion had been principally from incredulous residents.

Rob Jones wrote: “Each phrase that officer spoke and each single motion he made is disgusting. Good query about insinuating that the automotive was stolen… telling them to maintain their palms up however wanting them to open the door to get out…pulling a gun on them WHY??? If I used to be within the automotive, I’d be severely in concern of being shot. That officer is nothing greater than a menacing, terrorizing legal hiding behind a badge. And sadly I’d NOT have had the identical expertise if it was me as a result of I’m white.”

Fb consumer Cyn Tyler-Felt, wrote merely, and as one particular person identified, “profoundly,” that: “At the moment I suppose the brilliant facet is we’re not speaking a few useless household.”

Among the many greater than 5,000 feedback that had probably the most social engagement on the Phoenix police Fb submit from Williams had been:

“You recognize…’I apologize on behalf of the Phoenix PD’ would go a good distance. I hope this household wins a really massive settlement out of your Police Division and might transfer someplace they don’t must concern for his or her lives.”

“Thank God for the citizen who recorded this incident. Hopefully an precise investigation is going down quite than one other “we investigated ourselves and located no wrongdoing.”

In the meantime, as was reported by Meg O’Connor of the New Phoenix Instances, Williams’ assurance that the actions witnessed within the video are usually not consultant of the vast majority of law enforcement officials might not ring fully true.

“I guarantee you this incident shouldn’t be consultant of the vast majority of Phoenix law enforcement officials who serve this metropolis,” it’s simply consultant of the eight or so officers who had been on the scene & allowed this all to occur, & this isn’t consultant of PPD both…”

In a profound submit within the Fb web page of the Phoenix Police Division, the spouse of a retired Phoenix officer wrote that her husband, a beforehand proud Phoenix cop, is now ashamed of the division that he devoted his life to.

“My husband retired from Phoenix Police Division in 1980. He has all the time proudly worn a baseball cap for retired officers. After studying about this incident, he put his hat on the closet shelf as he’s ashamed to put on it once more,” Kathleen Burden wrote.

5. There’s International Condemnation of the Officers & the Phoenix Police Division However Additionally International Help For the Ames-Harper Household With Celebs & Public Figures Weighing In

There’s a seeming common sense of shock shared in tweets like these:

“@phoenixpolice I’d prefer to report an assault on Might 29th,” one Twitter consumer wrote. “Suspect is a white male sporting a Phoenix Police Officers uniform. He was seen threatening to shoot a household of black folks exterior a greenback retailer. Suspect is ARMED and DANGEROUS and stays at massive throughout the PPD!”

“I don’t like talking like this,” one other consumer tweeted, “As a result of I solely say what I imply. This officer or some other that factors a weapon within the course of my youngsters must defend their life. He’s very lucky these individuals are not skilled and armed as many people are.”

And one other instance from Twitter, from which there 1000’s extra: “Weapons ought to be drawn over imminent PHYSICAL threats.
A Barbie Doll theft is NOT a bodily menace, however quite a PROPERTY crime. Let me know if you happen to need assistance with coaching your officers.”

“What on the earth are you coaching your officers to do this they deal with a lady with a child like this,” one other Twitter consumer requested. “Unbelievable!”

The philanthropic wing of Jay-Z’s Roc Nation have dedicated to assist help the household. Roc Nation Managing Director of Philanthropy Dania Diaz mentioned the incident was “completely sickening.”

“There isn’t a place for that conduct in our world – not to mention our justice system – and we’re calling for the rapid termination of the law enforcement officials in query,” Diaz mentioned. “We’re dedicated to supporting the household to make sure that justice is served.”