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Penzone says bill ‘falls short’ for third-party review of deadly police incidents

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PHOENIX — Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said he lobbied against an Arizona House bill that would require a third-party investigation for deadly police force incidents because it didn’t meet his desired qualifications.

Penzone told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Thursday he was against HB2765 because it wasn’t as “thoughtful and comprehensive” as he would have liked.

“It was my opinion that the legislation fell considerably short and didn’t take into consideration all the elements law enforcement leaders have when it comes to these challenges,” Penzone said. “So I spoke out and said I don’t believe in the legislation and don’t believe it solves the problem.”

The bill, which would go into effect for law enforcement agencies in Maricopa and Pima counties, was passed unanimously by the Criminal Justice Reform Committee. Speaker Rusty Bowers hasn’t scheduled a vote for it, however, likely killing it.

Rep. Reginald Bolding, one of the bill’s sponsors, questioned in a tweet Penzone’s commitment to outside reviews of deadly police incidents.

Penzone said Thursday and in a press conference Wednesday he instead wants a bill that has more police input.

The sheriff said he’s meeting Friday with leaders of other Arizona law enforcement agencies to brainstorm a policy they believe is a better fit.

“There’s this attitude that if you’re not for something, you’re against it. That’s not always the case,” Penzone said. “Sometimes you can be in support of the philosophy…that’s what is occurring right now.

“To some extent, trying to pin me into a corner saying I’m not for reform that is in the best interest of law enforcement in a community is untrue.”

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