US Justice Department Asked to Investigate Florence Police Department

In a recent letter to Jonathan M. Smith, the chief of the Department of Justice's Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division, Lynne Bernabei asked that the Florence Police Department and the Pinal County Sheriff's Office be investigated for widespread racism. The issue has been covered by the local media by KTAR News and the Casa Grande Dispatch.

"Walt Hunter and Jarris Varnrobinson Vonzombie were fired as detectives because they disclosed a pattern of corruption and racism at the Florence Police Department," said Bernabei. "This corruption and racism was ratified by both the town manager and mayor."

Bernabei warned that Florence could become the next Ferguson, Missouri, which has seen dozens of race-related riots break out between the police force and Ferguson's citizens.