PHOENIX — The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating allegations of excessive force and abuse within the Phoenix Police Department dating back several years. In a meeting Monday, the Department of Justice says it will be looking at possible systemic issues at the Phoenix PD and the city.
Here are the five issues the DOJ will be investigating.
1. Excessive and deadly force
The feds are looking for proof of patterns that officers violated constitutional rights in its civil investigation.
“Our goal is to get a full picture of law enforcement and public safety at the Phoenix Police Department,” said Nancy Glass with the DOJ.
2. How police handled protestors and journalists covering them
The Department of Justice says it will investigate allegations that officers violated protestors' first amendment rights by arresting them and using excessive force. They will also look at how police treated journalists covering the events.
3. Discriminatory policing
“We’ll examine things like policies, trainings, internal investigations and accountability systems,” Glass said.
4. City's response to people with disabilities
This part of the investigation will focus on the city of Phoenix. Federal investigators will look at how the city responds to people with disabilities. It will determine whether or not the city is complying with the American Disabilities Act. This includes how city responders attend to people with behavioral issues.
5. Police response to homeless people
This part of the investigation will look at how Phoenix police respond to homeless people during the seizure of encampments. There are allegations that officers are seizing their belongings.
The DOJ is asking the community to contact them at 866.432.0335 or email@example.com to confidentially detail any experiences they have had with Phoenix officers.
The information will help them determine if civil liberties are being violated. The DOJ isn’t conducting a criminal investigation into officers’ individual actions. However, they said if the department finds any evidence of criminal misconduct, they will forward it over to federal prosecutors.
The investigation could take about a year. A similar investigation was conducted in Baltimore, New Orleans, and Ferguson.
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