On Thursday, the United States Justice Department announced that they were opening a wide ranging investigation into the Phoenix police force. The Justice Department said they will examine to see if the allegations against Phoenix Police of using excessive force, and abusing homeless people have merit.

Phoenix Police keep protesters away from Phoenix Police Headquarters Saturday, May 30, in Phoenix, protesting the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died in police custody with much of the arrest captured on video of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the neck of Floyd. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

WSB CHANNEL 2 – ATLANTA, reported Attorney General Merrick Garland, said the probe will also examine whether police have engaged in discriminatory policing practices. Garland also said his Justice Department will work to determine if officers have retaliated against people engaged in protected first amendment rights.

The police force has come under fire in recent years for its handling of protests and the high number of shootings. One lawsuit alleged that police and prosecutors colluded to target protesters during a demonstration last summer. In February, a local police station reported that a team of police officers had celebrated shooting a protester in the groin during another protest, with commemorative coins.

Protesters rally Wednesday, June 3, 2020, in Phoenix, demanding that the Phoenix City Council defund the Phoenix Police Department. The protest is a result of the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. (AP Photo/Matt York)

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