Phoenix City Council members criticize DOJ for no Spanish version of police investigation findings

Jun 13, 2024, 3:10 PM | Updated: 3:11 pm

phoenix city council...

The Phoenix City Council wrote to the Department of Justice, requesting they provide a Spanish version of the investigation. (City of Phoenix Photo)

(City of Phoenix Photo)

PHOENIX — The Phoenix City Council expressed its disappointment with the U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday for not including a Spanish version of the investigation of the city and the Phoenix Police Department.

The DOJ released just an English version of the report, prompting the Phoenix City Council to write to Attorney General Merrick B. Garland requesting that the DOJ takes immediate action in providing a Spanish version of the report.

“Given the diverse demographics of the region, particularly in our districts where there are significant Spanish speaking populations, it is essential that all residents have equal access to such important public documents,” the Phoenix City Council wrote in its letter to the DOJ. “By not providing the report in Spanish, the Department has effectively denied many community members the ability to fully understand the investigation’s conclusions and implications.”

The Council stated that the reforms outlined in the Department’s findings affect the entire Phoenix community, and excluding Spanish-speaking residents from accessing this information is “unacceptable and does a disservice to the very people who deserve to understand the outcomes.”

“We hope you will give this matter the serious attention it deserves,” the letter wrote. “The community is counting on the Department to serve all its constituents, regardless of their primary language.”

On Thursday, the DOJ released the findings of a yearslong investigation into civil rights violations by the Phoenix Police Department.

The DOJ found that the Phoenix PD regularly unjustified excessive force, violated of the rights of people experiencing homelessness, targeted minorities, restricted first amendment rights, discriminated against people with behavioral health disabilities and failed to modify practices during encounters with children.

The investigation is one of 11 opened against police departments since April 2021 and the DOJ will negotiate with city officials to determine what actions will be taken.

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Phoenix City Council members criticize DOJ for no Spanish version of police investigation findings