Excessive use of force. Retaliation against protesters. Discriminatory policing. That's what President Joe Biden's Department of Justice is using as their justification to investigate the Phoenix Police Department.
From the Arizona Republic:
"The investigation will determine whether the Phoenix Police Department engages in a pattern or practice of violations of the Constitution or federal law," Garland said, adding that this was the third"pattern or practice" investigation he's announced as attorney general. "Each time, I have noted, that these investigations aimed to promote transparency or accountability —this increases public trust which in turn increases public safety."
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego welcomes the investigation.
Gallego and her staff wrote, 'I welcome the U.S. Department of Justice review of the Phoenix Police Department. Comprehensive reform of policing in the City of Phoenix has been my priority since the first day I took office.'
Reform she hasn't been able to do on her own or with the city council's help. So in light of that failure, she now supports the federal government swooping in in hopes it makes her look better. Plus, she's also a Democrat supporting this Democrat move.
Phoenix Vice Mayor Carlos Garcia reacted more strongly.
Garcia told the Republic, “it’s something our office has been saying — the department is out of control, and also we are overspending.”
Here's what's happening. The federal government is using its power more and more to intervene or bully local police departments. The overreach comes before the Phoenix City Council-approved civilian oversight board has a chance to investigate police in Phoenix. The city used COVID relief money to fund that. That move came after the council couldn't get enough support to take away police funds from the department, which is what Garcia wants. He's part of the 'defund the police' crowd.
This all comes amid a violent crime increase in the city.
Aggravated assaults have nearly doubled since 2016, with more than 3,500 so far in 2021.
As for murders, they are on the same pace as 2020, at nearly 90. But back in October, the Phoenix police department reported a spike, that resulted in an increase of more than 44% in homicides from 2019.
Bottom line. This is politics. It's always about politics and politics is about winning. These moves by the DOJ are politically designed to keep the progressive base of the Democratic party happy. A progressive base that includes Gallego and Garcia.