In a recent news story by KPHO Channel 5 Phoenix, Reporter Peter Busch reports that a detective with the Professional Standards claims Phoenix Police has failed to properly investigate hundreds of viable sex crimes cases.
Dana Lindsey, a detective with the Professional Standards Bureau... said the department has failed for years to address an "excessive number of open cases" within the Child Crimes Squad.
According to detective Lindsey, there are about 587 open cases that Phoenix Police has failed to properly investigate. One detective in particular has gained Det. Lindsey's ire, "Lindsey points out that one detective, Alan MacIver, had 116 cases that had been open for more than 30 days". This story comes on the heels of other major embarrassments by Arizona law enforcement. There was a recent story on how the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office has failed to properly investigate numerous violent and sex crimes in El Mirage, and even more disturbing, how rogue Phoenix Police officers may have killed one of their own officers, Sgt. Sean Drenth, in an attempt to cover up Phoenix Police corruption.
Of course, there is also the notorious Youtube video in which a uniformed Phoenix Police Officer tackles a 15 year old girl, as reported by Michelle Ye Hee Lee of the Arizona Republic:
Patrick Larrison, a six-year member of the force, has been put on administrative leave pending criminal and internal investigations... An officer [Larrison] responding to the scene approaches her from behind as she is walking, shoves her into a wall and knocks her off her feet.
The worst part of the youtube attack video is that there was another office on the scene who did not report the attack, and it only came to the attention of the Phoenix Police because the video was posted anonymously on youtube three months later. Despite that point, Phoenix Police held a press conference where they had the insensitivity to claim they did not want to the public to think professional misconduct is only punished if exposed publicity.
[Phoenix Police Spokesman] Sgt. Trent Crump: “What we do not want is for people to find it online and think that is the normal course of business for the Phoenix Police Department,”
Yet that is exactly what happened. As I have stated before, it may be time for a civilian police commission to oversee the Phoenix Police department. History points out that in a democracy, when our civil servants fail us, the best solution is democratic oversight. And I can't imagine a better way to ensure that democratic oversight than to have the Phoenix Police department supervised by members of the community.