Via NBC News 6 minutes ago..
The Justice Department intends to launch a civil rights investigation of the entire Ferguson, Missouri, Police Department, according to administration officials.
An announcement of the investigation is planned for Thursday.
With the help of the FBI, the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division has been investigating last month's fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager, Michael Brown, who was wounded several times by a Ferguson police officer. The shooting touched off several days of sometimes violent protest.
But this new investigation would be much broader, looking at the conduct of the entire Ferguson Police Department over the past several years.
The Justice Department will also look at the practices of the county police department, but that will be a more cooperative investigation, an administration official said.
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The number of police department reviews the Justice Department has initiated under Holder for possible constitutional violations is twice that of any of his predecessors. At least 34 other departments are under investigation for alleged civil rights violations.
In April, for example, the Justice Department issued a scathing report concluding that the Albuquerque Police Department had repeatedly used deadly and excessive force in violation of citizens’ constitutional rights when there was no imminent threat to them or the community. The assistant attorney general with the department’s civil rights division said at the time that the Albuquerque department suffered from “inadequate oversight, inadequate investigation of incidents of force, inadequate training of officers to ensure they understand what is permissible or not.”
Earlier today it was also revealed that Mike Brown had no prior felonies as a juvenile
Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager shot and killed by a white police officer here last month, had no serious felony cases filed against him as a juvenile, a lawyer for a St. Louis County official said Wednesday.
The details came at a county court hearing over a petition by The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and another news outlet to unseal any juvenile court records that might exist for Mr. Brown. The authorities have said Mr. Brown, 18, had no adult criminal record, and his relatives have told reporters he did not have one as a juvenile, either.
Some black leaders have been calling for Mr. Nixon to appoint a special prosecutor to handle the case of the Ferguson police officer, Darren Wilson, who shot Mr. Brown. But by lifting the executive orders, Mr. Nixon appeared to have stripped himself of the power to remove the official now handling the local investigation, Robert P. McCulloch, St. Louis County’s top prosecutor. Mr. McCulloch has a history of showing bias toward law enforcement in police shootings, some black leaders have said, noting that the prosecutor’s parents worked for the St. Louis police and that his father was shot and killed by a black man.
State officials suggested that the governor’s power to remove Mr. McCulloch was tied to the emergency declaration. “The expansive powers of a governor during a state of emergency are temporary, and end when the governor lifts the declaration of emergency,” a spokesman for the Missouri attorney general said in a statement.
Mr. McCulloch has said his office was handling the investigation and the presentation of evidence to a St. Louis County grand jury “in a fair, full and impartial manner.” Mr. Nixon had recently expressed support for Mr. McCulloch and said he wanted the two investigations into Mr. Brown’s death, one county and one federal, to move forward.
Organizers of a highway shutdown next week, aimed at pressuring Mr. Nixon to appoint a special prosecutor, said the governor’s move on Wednesday would attract more attention and protesters to their civil disobedience action. It is set for Wednesday afternoon on Interstate 70 at Hanley Road.
Attorney General Eric Holder needs to look into the response to the protests too I think, everyone agrees the police were way over the top in attacking protesters and the press the way they did. That brutal military/police response embarrassed us in front of the entire world.