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Phoenix Police Department reporting officers for ‘Brady’ list faster

phoenix police badge AP
Posted at 12:19 PM, May 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-13 21:38:47-04

PHOENIX — Phoenix police have significantly reduced the amount of time the department takes to report its officers for “Brady” list consideration after internal investigations, according to new information and data provided to ABC15.

Over the past seven months, the city took an average of 28.5 days to send nine officers’ sustained misconduct files to county prosecutors for inclusion on the list.

In the past, the delay routinely stretched several months – and sometimes a year or more.

RELATED: Watch Phoenix police chief face tough questions about ‘Brady’ list

Video in the player above highlights coverage from our previous reporting on the Brady list.

ABC15 has reported extensively on failures and gaps within Arizona’s “Brady” list system for years. The station is the only entity to compile and publish a comprehensive statewide list of those officers.

In 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court in Brady v. Maryland ruled that police and prosecutors cannot withhold exculpatory evidence, including past cases of dishonesty and other misconduct by officers.

As a result, state county attorney’s offices began individually tracking problematic officers by creating “Brady” lists.

One of the problems previously exposed in ABC15’s investigation was the long reporting delays from when a police department knows about a problematic officer and when they notify prosecutors.

The case of Frances Salazar was a key example.

She was wrongfully convicted in August 2016 because evidence of her arresting officer’s history of dishonesty was never disclosed before trial.

Salazar filed a federal lawsuit in 2019.

Her attorney hired an expert, Dr. Melissa Kovacs, to analyze a decade of Brady list cases (112) for 10 years (2006 – 2016) proceeding her wrongful conviction.

The expert’s analysis found it took:

  • 476 days, on average, for an officer to be placed on the “Brady” list following an allegation.
  • 200 days, on average, for Phoenix to report an officer to prosecutors for “Brady” list consideration after an internal investigation was concluded.

Phoenix said it changed its practice and timing for reporting potential “Brady” misconduct to prosecutors in 2020.

Before, the city would wait until an officer fully exhausted the disciplinary review process, which can take months or longer following an internal investigation. The disciplinary review process has no bearing on the final result of the internal probes’ findings.

Currently, a spokesperson said the department now reports the officer once the case is finalized by the internal affairs commander.

“The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office requests law enforcement agencies submit possible Brady concerns quarterly, however it is the practice of the Phoenix Police Department that once an investigation with possible Brady issues is finalized by the Professional Standards Bureau Commander, it is sent to the appropriate prosecutorial agency,” according to a statement sent to ABC15. “This process is currently taking less than 30 days.”

An MCAO spokesperson told ABC15 that prosecutors expect to receive “Brady” referrals immediately upon the completion of internal investigations – not quarterly. Officials said the county attorney’s office sends out quarterly reminders to police departments to make sure they’re complying with that expectation.

Contact ABC15 Chief Investigator Dave Biscobing at