Arizona

What to do here

Click a "Get Template" button to get an email template about a specific issue. Edit the template to connect on a more personal level with your lawmaker. See the Contacting Logistics page for information about how to write an effective email to your lawmakers. Get your lawmakers' emails with the search box to the right. Send the email!

Be sure to check out the Next Steps at the bottom of the page. Go to the References/Further Reading page to see our sources and do some research of your own.

Last updated March 5, 2020

Summary

Key:

green circle with white check mark inside

Legislation Achieved

yellow circle

Some Progress

red circle with white x inside

No Progress

Demilitarization

Learn about demilitarization and the specific issues below on the Demilitarization page (opens in a new window).

 

No knock warrants

No Progress:

Arizona has not yet enacted a law eliminating the use of no-knock warrants.

1033 purchases

No Progress:

Arizona has not yet enacted a law ending its participation in programs that facilitate the transfer of military weapons from the federal government to police departments. In fact, recent years have seen the Arizona State Police receive 66 rifles from the federal government and the Phoenix Police Department receiving an armored tank.

Military style training

Achieved:

Starting in 2013, the Arizona Law Enforcement Academy began instructing recruits in the Blue Courage model of policing. This philosophy is woven into the curriculum of the academy, with recruits spending almost 400 hours throughout the course of their training with Blue Courage instructors.

SWAT data

No Progress:

Arizona has not yet enacted a law requiring the recording and cataloging of SWAT team use.

For Profit Policing

Learn about for profit policing and the specific issues below on the For Profit Policing page (opens in a new window).

 

Civil asset forfeiture

No Progress:

Arizona has not yet enacted a law ending civil asset forfeiture. The state earned a D- from the Insititute for Justice for its civil asset forfeiture laws.

Quotas

No Progress:

Arizona has not yet enacted a law ending quotas for low-level arrests. A bill (HB 2410) which would have banned such quotas passed through the State Senate and House in 2015 with ease but was vetoed by Governor Doug Ducey (R). He stated he was not against a bill working to ban quotas but believed the bill went too far and would otherwise hinder law enforcement agencies, though no other quota specific bill was passed at a later date.

Cost of misconduct

No Progress:

Arizona has not yet enacted a law requiring police departments (not state general funds) to cover the cost of misconduct. In Phoenix, they require the city police department to pay into a central risk fund with the premium being determined by the department's history of police conduct issues.

Broken Windows Policing

Learn about broken windows policing and the specific issues below on the Broken Windows Policing page (opens in a new window).

 

Minor offenses

Some Progress:

Ballot Proposal 207, passed in the November 2020 election, legalized limited marijuana use for individuals over the age of 21 and allows for certain marijuana offenders to seek to have their records expunged. However, many other non-violent offenses remain criminalized.

Objective justification for stops

No Progress:

Arizona has not yet enacted a law requiring officers to establish objective justification for making a stop (i.e. not simply for furtive movement, suspicious activity, or matching a generalized description). In 2015, the AZ Supreme Court recognized that police can stop and detain a person briefly with reasonable suspicion, which requires only a minimal level of objective justification to suspect a crime or suspicious activity is in progress or has occurred.

Reporting stop details

Some Progress:

In January 2003, the Arizona Department of Public Safety began voluntarily collecting data regarding traffic and pedestrian stops. In 2006, as part of a settlement agreement in a class-action lawsuit, DPS agreed to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of stop data being collected by Officers. DPS contracted with Dr. Robin Engel and the University of Cincinnati Policing Institute to conduct this analysis over a three year period. These reports included breakdowns of traffic stops by gender, race, etc. However, no report of this nature has been produced since 2009.

Accountability

Learn about accountability and the specific issues below on the Accountability page (opens in a new window).

 

Reckless civil rights violation

No Progress:

Arizona has not yet enacted a law lowering the prosecution requirement from ‘willful’ to ‘reckless’ deprivation of another’s rights. Officers in the Grand Canyon State are shielded from liability unless their actions are deemed willful.

Independent investigation

No Progress:

Arizona has not yet enacted a law institutionalizing an independent prosecutor within the state’s Department of Justice for instances of police misconduct. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovitch (R) has called for third-party investigations of police use of force cases and has offered his department as a potential option. Currently, they only have the power to assist in investigations if requested by the local department, which is rare. Notably, in a statement released in mid-November 2020, the Arizona Police Association indicated their support for an independent team to investigate officer-involved shootings.

Qualified immunity

No Progress:

Arizona has not yet enacted a law ending qualified immunity.

Reinvesting in Communities

Learn about reinvesting in communities and the specific issues below on the Reinvesting in Communities page (opens in a new window).

 

Mental health response

Some Progress:

Beginning in 2014, Arizona stakeholders and legislators worked together to ensure that police officers could bring anyone in a mental health crisis to a state crisis care center and that the person would be attended to in less than 10 minutes. This system allows those experiencing a mental health episode to receive the care they need in a safe environment. However, officers still respond directly to these mental health calls. Notably, In a statement released in mid-November 2020, the Arizona Police Association urged legislators to review mental health transport laws.

Education, Housing, Community Health Resources

No Progress:

It is important to note that policing does not address the roots of social disadvantage and barriers to (economic) opportunity that often lead to crime. Nor should police be burdened with that responsibility.
Without access to quality resources in healthcare, education, and housing, our cities, neighborhoods, and families will continue to suffer. We should instead reassess the budgets of the state government and reinvest in the services that matter most.

Next Steps

No matter what, register to vote:

Contacting officials is just one piece of the puzzle we can't stop there. We need to make sure our elected officials reflect our values and support reform at every level of government. Register here:

To keep these policies at the forefront:

Keep emailing about them (if you just finished the 5 Days Challenge, keep up the schedule—set reminders in your phone to email about each issue on its specific day).

To ask for more than this:

Use our templates as a model to ask for bigger changes. Color for Change and The Movement for Black Lives both have specific policy related to a reimagined law enforcement system. If you think there are additional policies we ought to consider, send your thoughts our way.

To get updates from Meet the Momentum:

Subscribe below.