U.S. Justice Department opens investigation in Phoenix
Aug. 5, 2021
The U.S. Justice Department announced an investigation into the City of Phoenix and the Phoenix Police department. We talked with Jeremy Helfgot, Phoenix Human Relations Commission Member about it all.
We asked if he was surprised by the announcement. He said he was taken “completely off guard.” He said that he believes the city and the police department also did not have a lot of notice.
He said it also makes sense. He said, Phoenix has had a rocky past when it comes to policing. He explains the nation has a long history of this, and Phoenix is no different.
He said justice intervention has produced great results for other cities, so he hopes Phoenix is heading that way. We talked about what the investigation entails. We discussed what he makes of the focus.
We look at the cities past and what has happened to get us to this point. He said the police department does well, but there is room for improvement. There have been things like the Dollar Store incident. We ask what the Justice Department is saying by doing this.
He believes they may finally be the solution to a lot of these issues. At the end of the day, he believes that everyone is the safest when everyone has each other’s back.
The police chief doesn’t report to the Mayor, he said. He reports to the Phoenix City Manager, who is not elected. He said this causes problems like a barrier between the elected officials. He is hoping they will have some “real” and “meaningful” experiences from this.