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The Phoenix City Council in 2020 approved the new Office of Accountability and Transparency. Its responsibilities had included investigating misconduct by police officers, but a subsequent state law has complicated the office’s mission.

A record number of cities have created or revamped civilian review boards to provide accountability for police misconduct in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, and while the hyperlocal nature of civilian oversight can make it thrive, it also makes evaluating the success a challenge. Read more»

Elaine Maestas, left, a community oriented response and assistance responder in Albuquerque, New Mexico, makes a phone call alongside Albuquerque Community Safety responders Chris Blystone and Deborah Vigil on July 7, 2022. They responded to the aftermath of a SWAT raid that left a family of five without a home.

Across the country, community organizers, nonprofit groups and elected officials have demanded police reform time and again, with spotty success - but this time, Americans outside politics and activism are demanding action toward lasting reform. Read more»

Brianna Turner, right, felt it was important to speak out about the shootings in Texas.

The history of activism within sports is a rich one, but activist athletes were more exception than rule for many decades - now, that mentality has changed for many sports figures despite criticism that athletes should “shut up and dribble”. Read more»

Last year, the House passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which aimed to get rid of no-knock warrants and reform qualified immunity. That bill stalled in the Senate.

President Biden signed an executive order coinciding with the second anniversary of fatal arrest of George Floyd that institutes new use-of-force rules for federal law enforcement officers, though the rule changes do not apply to local law enforcement agencies. Read more»

Over 50 people gathered for a recent 5K run at Steele Indian School Park that was put on by African American Reconstruction, whose mission is to empower the Black community and cultivate a climate that creates opportunities for advancement.

The non-profit organization African American Reconstruction was founded after the death of George Floyd to empower the Black community and cultivate a climate that creates opportunities for advancement. Read more»

An unidentified Tempe police officer discharges pepper spray at protesters who were following his orders to back up. The incident took place at a 'Chalk Walk' protest outside Tempe Marketplace on June 27, 2020.

A bill proposed by Fountain Hills Republican Rep. John Kavanagh, who spent decades as a police officer for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, would make it unlawful for someone to film police from up to 15 feet away while officers are engaged in “law enforcement activity.” Read more»

A sign at a protest against police brutality against Black people in Tempe, Ariz. on June 11, 2020.

Leaders of faith organizations and Historically Black Colleges and Universities told a U.S. House panel how their institutions have been roiled by violence - while subcommittee Republicans said the focus should be on crime rates and threats made to law enforcement officers. Read more»

President Joe Biden has called on Congress to increase funding by $500 million to local police departments and community programs that tackle gun violence.

With a rise in homicides in more than a dozen major U.S. cities, local leaders and gun safety experts are renewing their efforts to strike a balance between relying on law enforcement and engaging others, such as social workers, to reduce violence in at-risk communities. Read more»

What officers think about de-escalation likely affects how willing they are to use it, researchers said.

De-escalation training is more likely to improve police-civilian interactions when it’s perceived by cops as a way to keep them safe on the job, according to an Arizona State University study in conjunction with the Tempe police force. Read more»

Minneapolis police officer Derrick Chauvin kneels on the neck of George Floyd. The unarmed man died after begging Chauvin to let him up because he could not breathe.

Videos like those that captured police killing George Floyd and Eric Garner would be illegal in Arizona under a new law proposed by Fountain Hills Republican Rep. John Kavanagh - a bill similar to one proposed by the retired police officer in 2016. Read more»

Gov. Doug Ducey giving his final state of the state address on Jan. 10, 2022.

Gov. Doug Ducey vowed to use state resources to increase border security, spend a billion dollars to treat and transport water from the Sea of Cortez, expand school choice and continue lowering taxes as he laid out a wide-ranging agenda for his last year in office. Read more»

An opening scene from 'Low y Cool' in which the Camaradas Bicycle Club from the South Side blocks a street on their way Downtown.

The 1996 documentary "Low y Cool" about a lowrider bicycle club from Tucson's South Side will play on a big screen again in a 25th anniversary showing, which will include a discussion about Chicano history in Tucson. Read more»

Roger Smith, the first director of the Phoenix Office of Accountability and Transparency, held a similar position in Cleveland.

Roger Smith runs the Office of Accountability and Transparency - a new city office overseeing complaints filed against the Phoenix Police Department - established in May after months of testimony about Phoenix police conduct and complaints about a lack of accountability. Read more»

Daniel Lopez, one of the protest organizers from the Students for Socialism group at Arizona State University, chants with protesters demanding Kyle Rittenhouse be banned from campus while surrounded by people supporting Rittenhouse, who was acquitted last month in the killing of two people and the wounding of a third during Black Lives Matter protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August 2020.

More than 100 protesters gathered in the Arizona State University Nelson Fine Arts Center courtyard Wednesday demanding ASU bar Kyle Rittenhouse, though ASU officials say Rittenhouse isn’t enrolled and hasn’t applied for admission. Read more»

Rittenhouse, who went to the Kenosha protests armed with a rifle, said he fired in self-defense after he was attacked by protesters.

Though not enrolled in classes or present on campus, Kyle Rittenhouse is already casting a long shadow across Arizona State University - with both left-wing groups and conservative organizations agreeing on at least one thing: Each thinks the university is not doing enough. Read more»

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