Law enforcement leaders, politicians react to DOJ findings into Phoenix Police Department

Jun 13, 2024, 3:51 PM

PHOENIX — Law enforcement leaders and politicians were quick to react Thursday after the U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the Phoenix Police Department found patterns of egregious civil rights violations.

Darrell Kriplean, president of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show that he was disappointed with the findings.

“It absolutely does not reflect the police department that I know,” Kriplean said.

Kriplean criticized the DOJ for not being more proactive in alerting Phoenix PD of the serious misconduct.

The DOJ found that the department regularly used unjustified excessive force, unlawfully detained people experiencing homelessness, targeted minorities, violated rights of protesters and discriminated against people with behavioral health disabilities, according to Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Kristen Clarke.

Conduct by the police department and city violated the Constitution’s first, fourth and 14th amendments, according to Clarke.

“It’s so scathing and the allegations are so egregious that at some point during this almost three-year investigation, you would have thought that when this was uncovered by these investigators they would have went to the department immediately and said, ‘hey, you’ve got a serious issue here. We need to address this now.’

“But they didn’t, they kept it under wraps. There’s no collaboration, no communication with the department.”

Lou Manganiello, president of Phoenix Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 2, agreed with Kriplean.

In a statement, Manganiello questioned the legitimacy of the DOJ investigation.

“The investigative summary released by the DOJ today is full of half-truths, unsubstantiated accusations, and haphazard, illogical conclusions,” Manganiello said.

Councilwoman Ann O’Brien pushed back against the idea of a consent decree, which is typical in such cases to advance police reform.

City officials have said they intend to fight against the oversight of a consent decree, arguing it would create restrictions that impede ongoing reform efforts.

“Time and time again, this has proven to be a broken model for fixing and reforming police departments across the country,” O’Brien said.

Fellow Councilwoman Kesha Hodge Washington said her focus was on what’s next for the city and the department.

“The next steps will require difficult conversations, steadfast commitment and a willingness to embrace innovative solutions,” Washington said.

“I am committed to collaboration with stakeholders throughout this process to ensure our measures are effective, sustainable, and in the best interest of Phoenix residents.”

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Law enforcement leaders, politicians react to DOJ findings into Phoenix Police Department