“We had a sigh of reduction in some methods as a result of the violence we have now been exposing for years has lastly been seen at a nationwide stage,” mentioned Viri Hernandez, the chief director of Poder in Motion, a nonprofit that works with individuals who have misplaced family members to police violence.

After the homicide of Mr. Floyd whereas in police custody final yr in Minneapolis, activists across the nation, together with in Phoenix, demanded that police departments be defunded. Whereas the motion has gained traction in some cities, like Minneapolis and Los Angeles, Ms. Hernandez mentioned officers in Phoenix had proven little urge for food for reducing the police funds.

“For years we have now been saying this, and final yr after George Floyd our calls for had been echoed within the streets,” she mentioned, shortly including, “Defunding shouldn’t be occurring right here regardless that group members have made {that a} precedence.”

In recent times, each Arizona and Maricopa County, which incorporates Phoenix, have had a number of the highest charges of police shootings that resulted in deaths. Analyzing knowledge from 2015 to 2020, one study discovered that Arizona had the fourth-highest price of police killings amongst states, whereas Maricopa County had the ninth-highest price among the many nation’s 100 most populous counties.

On the identical time, homelessness has change into a rising concern in Phoenix, together with different cities, particularly within the western United States, the place extra individuals are residing on the streets amid a pandemic and psychological well being and dependancy crises. Alarming activists and people experiencing homelessness has been the police response: a gradual stream of early-morning sweeps of homeless encampments, through which officers seize individuals’s belongings.

“Police are simply taking part in Whac-a-Mole, simply pushing them from place to put,” mentioned Elizabeth Venable, the founding father of the Fund for Empowerment’s Houseless Management Venture, which advocates on behalf of the homeless.

Ms. Venable mentioned she was contacted this week by officers on the Justice Division to take part within the investigation, and she or he mentioned she would set up teams of individuals to satisfy with federal investigators to debate the police response to homelessness.