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Biden administration calls out “systemic” police violence in Phoenix

Photo: Getty Images via Agence France-Presse This 126-page document, the result of a federal investigation launched in 2021, reveals “systemic problems within the Phoenix Police Department that deprive people of their rights protected by the Constitution and federal law”.

France Media Agency in Los Angeles

Published yesterday at 7:23 p.m.

  • United States

Phoenix, the fifth largest city in the United States, suffers from a pattern of “systemic” police violence, which regularly uses excessive force and discriminates against black, Hispanic, indigenous and other people. homeless people, estimated Thursday a report from the Department of Justice.

This 126-page document, the result of a federal investigation launched in 2021, reveals “problems systemic practices within the Phoenix Police Department that deprive people of their rights protected by the Constitution and federal law.”

In this metropolis of Arizona (southwest), the police use “excessive use of force, including lethal”, and operate according to racial bias, denounces the report.

This survey, published a few months before the presidential election, could cause controversy in this key state, where Joe Biden beat Donald Trump by only 10,500 votes in 2020, and bring the theme of police violence back into the spotlight. campaign.

In the wake of vast protests against police violence in the United States, which occurred after the death of African-American George Floyd in 2020, the administration Biden has launched several investigations into some of the country's police forces.

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So far, the cities singled out by the Department of Justice, such as Minneapolis and Louisville, have agreed to undertake reforms supervised by the federal government.

But in Phoenix, officials said in a letter sent to the government in January that they had already implemented reforms and did not need federal oversight. Without an agreement, this could lead to a legal standoff between the government and the city.

“We take all allegations seriously and plan to review this lengthy report with an open mind,” Jeff Barton, one of Phoenix's administrative officials, responded Thursday.

“This is a case where we cannot count on the police to police themselves,” Kristen Clarke, one of Justice Minister Merrick Garland’s assistants, told the press.

The reforms outlined “are simply not sufficient to address all of our findings,” she added.

Phoenix police officers have a history of improperly arresting and ticketing homeless people, disposing of their belongings illegally, according to the report.

The document also denounces the treatment of certain demonstrators, as well as multiple racial discriminations: the probability of being arrested for a minor traffic offense is, for example, 144% higher for black drivers than for white people; a fact also 40% more likely for Hispanic people.

But it is the use of lethal force and the lack of de-escalation training that poses the greatest problems problem.

Prior to this investigation, the Phoenix police had one of the highest firearm use rates in the country. The department's policy was even to confiscate the weapon of police officers who did not use it enough, recalled Ms. Clarke.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116