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Dravon Ames, man in Phoenix use-of-force investigation, arrested for suspended license

Posted at 4:19 PM, Aug 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-30 13:25:57-04

The man at the center of a high-profile confrontation involving Phoenix police has been arrested for driving on a suspended license.

Court records show 22-year-old Dravon Ames was arrested Thursday.

DPS spokesperson Raul Garcia confirmed Thursday afternoon that Ames was cited for speeding, seat belt, and child restraint violations, as well as a criminal citation for driving with a suspended license. DPS alleged Ames was traveling upwards of 85 mph in a 55 mph speed zone near Interstate 17 and McDowell Road.

According to police paperwork, Ames was stopped after midnight for speeding. A records check during the stop showed that Ames had his driver’s license revoked in November 2018 after a DUI conviction in October 2018. His license was reportedly set to be reinstated in November 2019.

Police documents show he was arrested on one count of driving with a suspended license, which is a misdemeanor.

Ames is the father whose family was surrounded by Phoenix officers at an apartment complex in connection with a robbery earlier this year.

FULL COVERAGE: Phoenix use of force investigation

Ames' young daughter allegedly took a Barbie doll from the store without her parents knowing. They walked out of the store without paying, prompting the business to call police.

Officers eventually confronted the family with guns drawn in the parking lot of an apartment complex. Much of the incident was captured on video recorded by bystanders.

Part of the video shows a Phoenix police officer kicking Ames' leg.

Ames and his family have filed a $10 million notice of claim with the city, a precursor to a lawsuit. The family says the officers committed civil rights violations by pointing guns and profanely yelling commands at them.

Their story, and the witness videos, garnered national attention and sparked an outcry from the community about the Phoenix Police Department's use-of-force, particularly in communities of color.

As ABC15 first reported in June, Ames is currently facing two charges of aggravated assault against an officer stemming from a 2018 car accident on Halloween in Tempe.

His attorneys have said the prior Tempe arrest had nothing to do with the shoplifting incident involving Phoenix PD.

Rev. Jarrett Maupin, who has served as a family spokesperson since the incident, says he has told Ames and his family the scrutiny they are under means they have to take extra precaution.

"I think that it means that it was a good traffic stop. And example of what should've happened the first time Dravon and Iesha encountered law enforcement," he said.

Since the incident, the city of Phoenix has launched an initiative to improve relations between Phoenix police, its officers and the community they serve. The ad hoc committee's first meeting was held Thursday.