Home Politics Justice Dept. to Examine Phoenix Police

Justice Dept. to Examine Phoenix Police

“We had a sigh of aid in some methods as a result of the violence we have now been exposing for years has lastly been seen at a nationwide stage,” stated Viri Hernandez, the chief director of Poder in Motion, a nonprofit that works with individuals who have misplaced family members to police violence.

After the homicide of Mr. Floyd whereas in police custody final 12 months in Minneapolis, activists across the nation, together with in Phoenix, demanded that police departments be defunded. Whereas the motion has gained traction in some cities, like Minneapolis and Los Angeles, Ms. Hernandez stated officers in Phoenix had proven little urge for food for reducing the police funds.

“For years we have now been saying this, and final 12 months after George Floyd our calls for have been echoed within the streets,” she stated, rapidly including, “Defunding will not be taking place right here despite the fact that group members have made {that a} precedence.”

In recent times, each Arizona and Maricopa County, which incorporates Phoenix, have had a few of the highest charges of police shootings that resulted in deaths. Analyzing information from 2015 to 2020, one study discovered that Arizona had the fourth-highest price of police killings amongst states, whereas Maricopa County had the ninth-highest price among the many nation’s 100 most populous counties.

On the identical time, homelessness has grow to be a rising concern in Phoenix, together with different cities, particularly within the western United States, the place extra persons are dwelling on the streets amid a pandemic and psychological well being and dependancy crises. Alarming activists and people experiencing homelessness has been the police response: a gradual move of early-morning sweeps of homeless encampments, wherein officers seize folks’s belongings.

“Police are simply taking part in Whac-a-Mole, simply pushing them from place to put,” stated Elizabeth Venable, the founding father of the Fund for Empowerment’s Houseless Management Venture, which advocates on behalf of the homeless.

Ms. Venable stated she was contacted this week by officers on the Justice Division to take part within the investigation, and he or she stated she would manage teams of individuals to satisfy with federal investigators to debate the police response to homelessness.

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