The Phoenix Police Department is under fire again. The misdeeds range far and wide, but the fact is that the department appears to have far more than its fair share of police misconduct, ranging from bullying, to pulling guns on a young family and their small children, to shooting an inordinate number of citizens. Here are just a few examples:

Last year, there were 44 police shootings in Phoenix, a number which shattered records and garnered national attention. The number was higher than in New York City or Los Angeles, the two largest police departments in the country.

  • Last year, there were 44 police shootings in Phoenix, a number which shattered records and garnered national attention. The number was higher than in New York City or Los Angeles, the two largest police departments in the country.
  • There have been 22 people shot and killed by police in Arizona in 2019 (so far), 8 of them in Phoenix.
  • In May, a couple was followed by police to their apartment complex after one of their young children allegedly took a doll from a discount store. They were met at the apartment by officers with guns drawn, kicking one of the parents, pulling on the arm of their infant child, and threatening to kill at least one of the parents in front of their children.
  • In September 2016, Phoenix police ordered a teenager to eat marijuana or be brought to jail.

There have been 22 people shot and killed by police in Arizona in 2019 (so far), 8 of them in Phoenix.

In May, a couple was followed by police to their apartment complex after one of their young children allegedly took a doll from a discount store. They were met at the apartment by officers with guns drawn, kicking one of the parents, pulling on the arm of their infant child, and threatening to kill at least one of the parents in front of their children.

In September 2016, Phoenix police ordered a teenager to eat marijuana or be brought to jail.

Remember that this is not the Sheriff’s Department of Joe Arpaio. We’d come to expect such conduct from those folks. This is the police department of the nation’s fifth largest city by population. Perhaps more interesting is what happens when a police officer commits outrageous acts against a citizen.

One example should suffice. In the May 2019 threat to kill the parents of the alleged toddler shoplifter, the Mayor of Phoenix, Kate Gallego publicly apologized for the incident, saying that she was “sick” over the police actions against the family with their young children. That’s all well and good, but the mayor followed her apology with a statement that she had requested that the officers involved be placed on desk duty.

Well, the investigation of the case is apparently ongoing, and the family has filed a notice of claim for $10 million. Maybe we’ll find out something new down the road, although the family’s story appears accurate, at least at this point. But had the conduct been performed by non-officers, they’d be facing charges of threatening, aggravated assault (with a deadly weapon), and more. They must be reeling from the punishment they got – desk duty with no loss of pay.

Law Offices of David A. Black
40 North Central Avenue #1850
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(480) 280-8028

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