AZ Couple in Police Video Cites ‘Sick’ Smear Campaign

The couple behind a viral Phoenix police video is criticizing Tempe, Az., police for releasing body-camera videos showing the arrest of Dravon Ames last year, the Arizona Republic reports. The Rev. Jarrett Maupin, spokesman for the Ames-Harper family, accused law enforcement of organizing a “sick” smear campaign against the family. Maupin released photos showing cuts, scratches and bruises on Ames’ body that he said were sustained during the arrest by Tempe police. “This … is all about trying to distract the public from their palpable outrage about a compliant and peaceful black family being violated in unimaginable ways by police officers with records of engaging in wanton abuse,” Maupin said.

Tempe police said the release of the body-camera footage was a response to public records requests and was “independent of any other activities occurring in the City of Phoenix.” Ames was arrested on Oct. 31, 2018 for two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer and a DUI. Officers responded to a two-vehicle crash, where they observed Ames acting erratically, not answering their questions and refusing to leave the vehicle the middle of the roadway. An officer reported Ames admitted to “dabbing,” smoking marijuana, with friends. Ames has been at the center of discussions over police use-of-force for the past several weeks. A bystander recorded a video of Phoenix police officers pointing guns and yelling threats at Ames, 22; his pregnant fiancee, Iesha Harper, and their two young daughters after the family said their 4-year-old took a doll from a Family Dollar store on May 27.

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