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Victims of police violence and their families gather in downtown Phoenix

Ames speaks at a press conference on June 14, 2025.
Kirsten Dorman/KJZZ
Dravon Ames speaks at a press conference on June 14, 2025.

Victims of police violence and their families gathered in downtown Phoenix on Friday to tell their stories and support accusations of racial discrimination in policing in the Department of Justice’s recently released report.

Dravon Ames, his then-pregnant fiancée and their two young daughters received nearly half a million dollars from the city of Phoenix in 2020 for what happened when officers who suspected them of shoplifting were seen on video pointing guns at the family.

"I was beaten up by the cops and Tased and choked unconscious. And it just got completely dismissed," Ames said.

One officer was fired, and another received a written reprimand.

Reading the DOJ’s report, he says he felt vindicated and hopes others will, too.

"Hopefully change is coming. You know, I believe it is. There's documented evidence that, you know, you're not crazy. What you went through is going to come out. It's going to be heard," he said.

Ames urged city officials to sign the consent decree, which is a legally-binding agreement with court oversight.

Kirsten Dorman is a field correspondent at KJZZ. Born and raised in New Jersey, Dorman fell in love with audio storytelling as a freshman at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2019.
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