U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will direct the Justice Department to launch a civil rights investigation into the Ferguson Police Department following the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, the Washington Post reports.
The DOJ’s Civil Rights Division will conduct the investigation to determine whether profiling and excessive use of force played a role in Brown’s death, according to two unnamed federal law enforcement officials.
Brown was shot by Ferguson officer Darren Wilson last month after an alleged physical confrontation. Brown, who was unarmed at the time of the shooting, was caught on video robbing a convenience store before he encountered Wilson.
Wilson reportedly suffered facial injuries and was taken to the hospital following the shooting. Some witnesses previously claimed Brown was shot in the back and that his hands were up. An autopsy later discredited claims that he was shot in the back. Brown was reportedly shot six times.
The police-involved shooting sparked several nights violent clashes between protesters and police in Ferguson, resulting in dozens of arrests, looting and shootings.
The DOJ investigation will reportedly also target other police departments in St. Louis County.
A grand jury is currently reviewing evidence that could result in charges against officer Wilson in Brown’s death.
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