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Watch These Key Issues As Feds Scrutinize Phoenix Police

Justice Department investigators plan to put under a microscope allegations of civil and constitutional rights violations by the Phoenix Police Department.

Jeremy Helfgot serves on a city anti-discrimination board. He’s also spent roughly a decade working on Phoenix police issues.

Helfgot said a major source of tension between the department and the public is immediate ideological polarization after critical incidents such as an officer shooting a suspect.

“We need to get past that. We need to recognize that (on) both sides of this issue there is tribalization and we tend to run to our corners,” he said.

Other flashpoints Helfgot pointed to are suspicion about the source of data used in studies to make reform recommendations. Plus the loud, weighty and often political voice of Phoenix police unions.

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Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.