On Thursday, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the Justice Department was opening a probe into the Phoenix Police Department for suspected violations, including retaliatory activity against protesters who engage in “protected, expressive activities,” “excessive force,” and mistreament of “people with disabilities.” This is the Department of Justice’s third investigation into police units across the country for an alleged “pattern or practice” of civil rights violations.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department that is leading the prosecution of over 550 defendants over the Capitol Breach hasn’t said a word about the reported abuse of many individuals in pretrial detainment, whose maltreatment appears to describe the civil rights violations Attorney General Garland refers to in his announcement.
“Our investigation in Phoenix will be led by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division,” AG Garland said. “It is based on the division’s extensive review of publicly available information and it will consider several issues.”
“First, whether the Phoenix Police Department uses excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment,” Garland continued.”Second, whether the Phoenix Police Department engages in discriminatory policing practices that violate the Constitution and federal law.”
“Third, whether the department violates the First Amendment, by retaliating against individuals who are engaged in protected, expressive activities,” he went on.