Whereas the problems the investigation will look at are severe, Garland appeared keen to not take a confrontational tone with police or the town.
Garland mentioned Phoenix Mayor Gallego and Police Chief Jeri Williams had been briefed on the investigation earlier Thursday and pledged full cooperation.
“They, too, acknowledge that we share widespread goals,” the lawyer normal mentioned.
Garland mentioned the Phoenix investigation would additionally embrace how police cope with individuals experiencing psychological well being crises, in addition to whether or not the division had illegally seized property belonging to individuals experiencing homelessness.
The lawyer normal confused that among the points the investigation will discover had been pushed by failures in different elements of society to deal with psychological well being and housing wants, leaving police to cope with the results on the road.
“Our society is straining the policing occupation by turning to legislation enforcement to deal with a wide selection of social issues,” Garland mentioned. “Too typically, we ask legislation enforcement officers to be the primary and final possibility for addressing points that shouldn’t be dealt with by our felony justice system. This makes law enforcement officials’ jobs harder, will increase pointless confrontations with legislation enforcement and hinders public security.”
In April, the Justice Division introduced comparable investigations into the Louisville and Minneapolis police departments. Assistant Legal professional Basic for Civil Rights Kristen Clarke instructed reporters on Thursday that Justice Division officers had consulted greater than 1000 “neighborhood stakeholders” in these cities as they probe the ways utilized by police there.
Phoenix, the most important metropolis of the three now beneath federal investigation, tallied the most important variety of officer-involved shootings within the nation in 2018.
In 2020, there have been 26 police shootings within the metropolis, up from 15 the earlier 12 months, in accordance with statistics compiled by the Arizona Republic.
Clarke didn’t reply on to a query about whether or not there was a “remaining straw” in Phoenix that led the Justice Division to announce the probe.