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The Department of Justice has once again released an allegedly "fair and impartial" report: Statement by President of the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police: 9,300 member

The Department of Justice has once again released an allegedly "fair and impartial" report about a police department and its ongoing efforts in the community. Strangely, as one reads their 126 pages of "fair and impartial" reporting regarding the Phoenix Police Department, you find not a single example of PPD officers performing heroically, being injured or ambushed in the line of duty, saving lives, or being empathetic to the community they have committed to serve. Instead, the DOJ has microscopically focused on a handful of situations handpicked from literally thousands of police contacts on a daily basis in the fifth largest city in the United States.

The report discusses the legality of officer-involved shootings. DOJinvestigators point out that since 2018, there have been 149 officer-involvedshootings in Phoenix. They then deconstruct seven examples they believe werehandled incorrectly. Cherry-picking about four percent of cases to argue for a"pattern or practice" of officer misconduct seems dubious at best.

The DOJ also claims Phoenix officers are given a free pass and never face discipline. The DOJ analysis, in fact, documents multiple cases of discipline—before arguing that officer appeals and arbitration are a bad thing. Are we to understand that the Department of Justice believes police officers are guilty until proven innocent and should not receive due process? As if being a police officer isn't difficult enough, now you can't even attempt to defend yourself throughout the disciplinary process?

This report is touted as being a stepping stone to improve policing in Phoenix and community relations. Instead, this report is deeply biased and falls perfectly in line with every other DOJ report we have seen over the last four years—reports that lambast all police as bad, systematically racist, and incapable of doing good. This prevailing attitude among high-level politicians is nothing new to law enforcement. We are fully aware that this report was specifically designed in retaliation for the City's refusal to accept another magical DOJ consent decree. This report is clearly an attempt to further divide the Phoenix community by doing nothing to point out the incredible efforts made by the Phoenix Police Department on a daily basis.

In fairness to the Department of Justice, I have already been in direct contact with the Assistant Attorney General, Kristen Clarke. While we clearly agreed to disagree on many of the topics I have written about here, we also agreed to save each other's phone numbers and remain in contact. While I stand by everything I've said here and already explained to AAG Clarke, I also know there is common ground that can be achieved if we work together. Slamming doors and walking away helps no one. If we truly work together, we can achieve greatness for everyone.

As the President of the State of Arizona Fraternal Order of Police, I represent over 9,300 of the finest police officers in the country. That includes members of the Phoenix Police Department. These officers strive for perfection and work hard for their community every day. They stand fast to their commitment to the City even when a carbon copy report like this attempts to undermine their ongoing efforts.

I stand with my brothers and sisters of the Phoenix Police Department and all Arizona officers. This flawed report aside, Arizona police officers will continue to protect and serve because it is what we have been called upon todo.

Paul Sheldon,
President Arizona Fraternal Order of Police