Justice Dept. announces Ferguson police probe

Sep 5, 2014

Credit Null_Value via Flickr

The Justice Department is launching a broad investigation into the practices of the Ferguson, Missouri, police department.

That's according to Attorney General Eric Holder. He announced the investigation following the shooting last month of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer in the St. Louis suburb.

It's a separate inquiry from an ongoing federal civil rights investigation into the circumstances of the August 9th shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson. A local grand jury is also investigating.

This investigation will look at police department practices over the past few years, including patterns of stops, arrests and use of force, as well as the training the officers receive.

The Ferguson department says it welcomes the Justice Department investigation.

The city of Ferguson issued a two-paragraph written statement vowing "our willingness to be transparent and forthright as we continue the process of earning back the trust of our residents and our neighbors in the St. Louis region."

County Police Chief Jon Belmar says he initiated the "collaborative reform" and "welcomes the scrutiny."