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FULL ANNOUNCEMENT: DOJ announces investigation into City of Phoenix & Phoenix PD

AG Merrick Garland
Posted at 12:35 PM, Aug 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-05 16:57:52-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the Justice Department is opening a sweeping investigation into the City of Phoenix and Phoenix Police Department, including the department's use-of-force policies.

“When we conduct pattern or practice investigations to determine whether the Constitution or federal law has been violated, our aim is to promote transparency and accountability,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland. “This increases public trust, which in turn increases public safety. We know that law enforcement shares these goals.”

Watch the full news conference in the player above.

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“One of the highest priorities of the Civil Rights Division is to ensure that every person in this country benefits from policing that is lawful, effective, transparent, and free from discrimination,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke. “Police officers across the country must use their authority in a manner that adheres to the Constitution, complies with federal civil rights laws and respects human dignity.”

Following the DOJ's announcement, Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams and Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher, who is retiring in October, held a press conference and spoke with reporters.

"Any police department, any entity, has room for improvement. Mine is no different. I will say this, I’m confident in our ability to police. I am confident in our ability to engage and embrace what the DOJ is looking for in their pattern and practice review," Chief Williams said.

She said the DOJ's investigation would likely take more than a year.

You can watch that press conference below.

RAW: Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams responds to DOJ investigation into Phoenix Police Department