Justice Department investigating Phoenix police practices, including use of deadly force, in civil rights probe

At a news conference held at the Department of Justice, on August 5, 2021, U.S. Attorney Merrick Garland announced a federal investigation into the City of Phoenix, and the Phoenix Police Department.Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Thursday that the Department of Justice had opened a civil rights inquiry into the Phoenix Police Department's practices, which included the use of deadly force and its officers.Garland stated that the probe into Arizona's capital and its police department will also examine whether officers there engage in discriminatory policing practices, or retaliate against citizens for protesting.Garland stated that the Justice Department wants to know how Phoenix police handle people with disabilities or who are homeless.These two areas "speak to an issue that is more important than the Phoenix probe," Garland said. He was referring to society's dependence on police to solve all its social problems.He said, "Too often we ask law enforcement officers be the last and best option to address matters that should not be dealt with by our criminal justice systems." This makes it more difficult for police officers, leads to unnecessary confrontations with law enforcement and reduces public safety.