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DOJ Opens Probe Into Phoenix Police Similar to Those Underway in Louisville, Minneapolis

Newsweek logo Newsweek 8/5/2021 Maggie Gile
Merrick Garland wearing a suit and tie: U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said the Justice Department has opened a pattern or practice investigation into the City of Phoenix and the Phoenix Police Department to determine if they have violated federal laws or citizens constitutional rights. Garland announces a federal investigation of the City of Phoenix and the Phoenix Police Department during a news conference at the Department of Justice on August 05, 2021 in Washington, DC. © Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said the Justice Department has opened a pattern or practice investigation into the City of Phoenix and the Phoenix Police Department to determine if they have violated federal laws or citizens constitutional rights. Garland announces a federal investigation of the City of Phoenix and the Phoenix Police Department during a news conference at the Department of Justice on August 05, 2021 in Washington, DC.

The Department of Justice is launching a probe into the Phoenix police force to examine if officers are using excessive force and abusing people, similar to the probes underway in Louisville and Minneapolis, the Associated Press reported.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the investigation Thursday. The probe will exam whether police have engaged in discriminatory policing practices and will work to determine if officers have retaliated unlawfully against those protected by the First Amendment.

This investigation is part of a "pattern or practice" examination. It will determine whether there is a pattern or practice of unconstitutional policing and is a general sweeping review of the police department.

This is a breaking news story, more will be added as Associated Press updates.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke said investigators will review body camera video, along with training materials and other records. She said the Justice Department spoke with Phoenix city officials and they had expressed support for the probe.

Earlier this year, the Justice Department announced it was opening similar investigation into police forces in Minneapolis, after the death of George Floyd, and in Louisville, Kentucky, after the death of Breonna Taylor.

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