U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced the launch of a broad civil rights investigation into the Ferguson, Mo., Police Department.
The investigation will be conducted by the Justice Department’s civil rights division. It will follow a process similar to the one used to investigate complaints of profiling and the use of excessive force in other police departments across the country.
The move follows the shooting last month of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African American, by a white Ferguson police officer who claimed he acted in self-defense. Brown, who was unarmed, was shot at least six times on the afternoon of Aug. 9.
Holder’s decision will represent the Obama administration’s most aggressive step to address the Ferguson shooting, which set off days of often-violent clashes between police and demonstrators in the streets of the St. Louis suburb.
The probe will take a look at not just Ferguson, but other departments in St. Louis County. Some, like Ferguson, are predominantly white, and serve majority African-American communities.
At least one of the departments invited the Justice Department to look at its practices.
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