Jarrett Maupin Arrested During Protest that Shut Down Tempe Bridges

Jarrett Maupin with Dalvin Hollins's mother, Sarah Coleman (right), and grandmother Priscilla Coleman (left), as they marched north on the Mill Avenue Bridge.
Jarrett Maupin with Dalvin Hollins's mother, Sarah Coleman (right), and grandmother Priscilla Coleman (left), as they marched north on the Mill Avenue Bridge.
Stephen Lemons

The Reverend Jarrett Maupin was dragged away in handcuffs by Tempe police Monday morning during a nonviolent protest of police shootings that closed down both sides of Mill Avenue Bridge for about an hour.

Maupin had just finished leading a small but vocal crowd of about 50 to 75 to the end of the northbound Mill Avenue Bridge, where it converges with the southbound span. Ignoring police demands to remain on the sidewalk, the crowd turned south. Tempe police swooped in and took Maupin into custody.

The vocal activist Maupin went limp in the officers' arms. They dragged him to a nearby police van, which took him away.

Protesters continued the march, walking down the middle of the bridge as police on bikes and motorcycles warned them via loudspeakers that they were risking arrest. Many marchers ignored the admonition or taunted the officers while en route back to where they had begun the demonstration, near the entrance to Tempe Beach Park.

Protesters marched down the middle of the bridge, ignoring police commands to move to the sidewalk.
Protesters marched down the middle of the bridge, ignoring police commands to move to the sidewalk.
Stephen Lemons

Tempe police spokeswoman Sgt. Josie Montenegro says two protesters were arrested in addition to Maupin, and that all three were charged with impeding a public thoroughfare, a misdemeanor. The names of the two other individuals have not yet been released.

Before the demonstration began, Maupin told New Times that the protest was meant to address the rash of police shootings of African-Americans across the nation, with emphasis on the July 27 shooting of 19-year-old Dalvin Hollins by Tempe police lieutenant Edward Ouimette, which is still under investigation by the department. 

"This is as much about Tulsa, Sacramento, Phoenix, Baton Rouge, Charlotte, New York, Las Vegas," Maupin said, referencing cities where controversial police shootings have taken place. "This is as much about the people shot in those places and their families as it is about Dalvin Hollins."

Before the march, Hollins's mother, Sarah Coleman, addressed reporters, accusing Tempe police of shooting her son in the back and letting him die without rendering first aid. 

"My son was 19 and he had a future," she said, breaking into tears. "That was my firstborn son. ... We need the truth. We need to know [what happened]."

The demonstration, protesting police shootings of unarmed black men, drew students from Arizona State University and activists from other parts of the Valley.
The demonstration, protesting police shootings of unarmed black men, drew students from Arizona State University and activists from other parts of the Valley.
Stephen Lemons

The Tempe Police Department says Hollins had just robbed a Walgreens when Ouimette approached him in a marked police car. Hollins ran; Ouimette gave chase on foot. Police claim Ouimette thought Hollins had turned to point a gun at him, when he shot once, hitting Hollins in the back. Hollins then barricaded himself in a nearby maintenance shed, where emergency personnel who responded to the scene ultimately pronounced him dead. He was unarmed.

Footage from a Walgreens security camera released by the Tempe PD shows what police say is Hollins holding up the pharmacy, his hand in a black bag as if he were wielding a gun. But no gun has been recovered.

After Coleman spoke, Hollins's grandmother Priscilla Coleman tried to speak but broke down in tears.

Maupin demanded that the Tempe PD fire Ouimette, who is currently on paid leave pending the investigation's outcome (standard practice in such cases), and he called on Tempe's recently hired police chief Sylvia Moir to resign.

Tempe police officers dragging Maupin to a police van.
Tempe police officers dragging Maupin to a police van.
Stephen Lemons

"There is a conspiracy in Tempe," Maupin said. "A conspiracy and a cover-up. They are covering up the death of Dalvin Hollins."

Maupin then led the march, with protesters chanting slogans such as "Hands in my pockets, don't shoot!" and "Protect and serve? That's a lie. Police don't care if black kids die."

Halfway through the march, Hollins's grandmother appeared to faint and was lifted up and carried along by other marchers. Then, Maupin was arrested. His father, Jarrett Maupin Sr., took over the bullhorn, leading the marchers to the demonstration's conclusion.

Before the crowd dispersed, Maupin Sr. accused the police of targeting his son because he'd organized the event. When Maupin was arrested, numerous other demonstrators were in the road, but officers left them alone.

Tempe police officers place Maupin in a paddy wagon.
Tempe police officers place Maupin in a paddy wagon.
Stephen Lemons

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"They tried to chop the head off the snake," Maupin Sr. said. "But that's all right, because we all of us are civil-rights activists." 

After leading a prayer, he turned the horn over to Dalvin's father, Calvin, who held a framed photo of his son, as Dalvin's mother had done earlier, and thanked the crowd for their support.

"It makes me feel like we together in this, all of us, with this boy right here, Dalvin Lee Hollins," he said.

Update September 26, 5:10 p.m.: 

The Tempe Police Department just issued the statement below, with the names of those arrested and the charges, which include failure to obey a police officer as well as obstruction of a public thoroughfare. 

It's not clear to me when Calvin Hollins was arrested, because he spoke to the press following the march. Unless there is another Calvin Hollins. Some protesters continued down Mill Avenue after the main protest was over. I would only be speculating beyond that. 

It's worth pointing out that these arrests were highly selective, as there were many others violating police officers' demands who were not collared. Also, for what it's worth, while the demonstrators were on the bridge, there was no traffic. 

The Tempe Police Department prepared for the protest that occurred today which included communication with those who were to protest of what would and would not be permitted per law and concerns for everyone’s safety. Protesters were provided the lawful opportunity to voice their concerns and reminded numerous times to remain on the sidewalks to assure their safety, along with the safety of others commuting in the area. Three were ultimately arrested and booked into the Tempe City Jail for the following charges:

• Jarrett Maupin, 29 years old
o 28-622.A / Failure to obey a lawful order of a police officer
o 13-2906.A / Obstruction of a public thoroughfare

• Michael Moynihan, 34 years old
o 28-622.A / Failure to obey a lawful order of a police officer
o 13-2906.A / Obstruction of a public thoroughfare

• Calvin Hollins Jr., 43 years old
o 28-622.A / Failure to obey a lawful order of a police officer
o 13-2906.A / Obstruction of a public thoroughfare
o Chandler city court warrant for Disorderly conduct

Update September 26, 5:34 p.m.:

A Tempe PD spokeswoman just told me that Hollins was arrested at 12:52 p.m., which was well after the main protest had ended. 


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