Feds to Launch New Civil Rights Probe into Ferguson Police Department

jacksonpresser123.jpg
Chad Garrison
Ferguson police chief Tom Jackson releases information about the officer who shot Michael Brown and a related robbery.
The U.S. Department of Justice will open another civil-rights investigation, this time into the entire operations of the Ferguson Police Department.

Anonymous officials leaked details to national media outlets, first to the Washington Post, on Wednesday about the investigation, which is separate from the department's other civil-rights investigation into the shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson. The inquiry will focus on the Ferguson Police Department and could expand to other police forces.

The decision by Attorney General Eric Holder to open a wide-reaching investigation signals the most aggressive judicial step yet toward dealing with the underlying tensions that erupted into clashes with police after Brown's death on August 9.

See all Riverfront Times coverage of Michael Brown and Ferguson.

UPDATE, 11:19 a.m.: Here's the statement from Ferguson:

The City of Ferguson and the Ferguson Police Department welcome the Department of Justice and their pending investigation. Over the past few weeks we have hosted and participated in several meetings with the Department of Justice and feel our collaborative efforts are another step forward in showing 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.

UPDATE 11:30 a.m.: And here's a statement from Michael Brown's family, via their lawyer Benjamin Crump:

The family of Michael Brown is encouraged that the Justice Department has opened an investigation into the Ferguson Police Department. We believe that transparency in law enforcement is the only way to build trust in the community, not just in the killing of Michael Brown, but for others who have suffered as well. That is why we are advocating for the use of body cameras for law enforcement around the country. We can't have another young man's life taken amid murky circumstances. We want the truth to shine brightly.


The new investigation, which officials are likely to announce Thursday afternoon, will analyze recent practices of this majority-black city's mostly white police department, including patterns of traffic stops, arrests, use of force, training for officers and more, according to the Associated Press.

For example, federal investigators will look into why black drivers in Ferguson are stopped more frequently than white drivers. A 2013 report from the Missouri attorney general's office says blacks are twice as likely to be pulled over than whites even though they are less likely to have contraband.

See also: Black Drivers Still Get Pulled Over More in Missouri, St. Louis: Attorney General

Five current and one former member of the Ferguson Police Department are facing federal lawsuits for excessive force, according to the Washington Post. The lawsuits claim officers hog-tied a twelve-year-old boy, pistol-whipped children and used a stun gun on a mentally ill man who then died.

If the investigation finds patterns of excessive force and civil-rights violations in Ferguson, the justice department could file a federal lawsuit against Ferguson or agree to a settlement with police there to make changes in the force.

A similar investigation led to the "virtual federal takeover" of the New Orleans police last year and is "very serious," says CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. Last year's settlement between the U.S. government and New Orleans led to hundreds of new department policies after an investigation found dysfunction and corruption throughout the police force.

The civil-rights investigation in Ferguson will not affect the criminal investigation against Wilson for shooting Brown. A St. Louis County grand jury is currently hearing evidence that could lead to charges against Wilson.

Correction: This story originally misstated the scope of the investigation. The justice department is looking into Ferguson and could expand into other police departments, including St. Louis County.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


My Voice Nation Help
141 comments
Adam Parker
Adam Parker

And it is deserved based solely on the Henry Davis case, the guy they arrested, beat, and charged with property damage because his blood got on their uniforms. And oh yeah, he was the WRONG Henry Davis.

Cal Winter
Cal Winter

One of the conservative radio hosts said something that rings true to me. The Federal Department of Justice can move in on a poor, little town like Ferguson and force submission on the local government. The locals can't fight the Feds in court. They have no money to speak of. This is brutal misuse of power. ---

Steven Torlina
Steven Torlina

Another fake catfish profile no pics at all on here being a troll

Steven Torlina
Steven Torlina

Justice will prevail after wilson is cleared you d umbasses will look stupid for doubting that a cop has the right to shoot if threatened also sue Sue Hays are you even from st.louis

Steven Torlina
Steven Torlina

BennyBob Northcutt what does obama havet to do with anything or a marine having a weapon in mexico

Steven Torlina
Steven Torlina

Sue Sue Hays once again f ucktard it wasn't bad for officer wilson to shoot that idiot it wasn't murder so stop call it that it was self defense

Marisela Rivas
Marisela Rivas

They came here to Salinas CA for the same reasons and did nothing. Goodluck.

Tom Patrick
Tom Patrick

Fed's should do random Police Department investigations across the country. They have no one to keep them in check.

Linda SansSouci
Linda SansSouci

I hope the Dept. kept good records on the minorities it said it tried to hire, and then they went elsewhere, after training, for a better salary.........

Steve Foster
Steve Foster

The buck stops there. Everyone knows Holder & the D.O.J. guys are straight shooters dahahahaha

downtownbrown
downtownbrown

Holder hates whitey, that's all you need to know.

John Salkowski
John Salkowski

Fuck Ag Holder he just wants to be a so called good black man.

Sue Hays
Sue Hays

Exactly!!! There is hardly any media attention or the Obama administration I don't think is taking it serious.

Sue Hays
Sue Hays

Amnesty has nothing to do with this case. Amnesty is for Illegal people that come in this country illegally.. Also wait for all the facts to come out. Yes what the cop did was horrible. Justice will prevail at the end. Let God be his judge. Even if Michael Brown was a criminal it does not warrant him to get murdered!!!

BennyBob Northcutt
BennyBob Northcutt

Lmao the people who gave us fast and furious scandal is investigating lmao. We got a marine in a Mexican prison for being on wrong side of border with a gun. Why isn't Obama and holder doing shit about it?? Oh he be white fuck him. Smfh

Bella Banks
Bella Banks

Shane Duncan I knew what it meant I was fuckin with him because he wanted to put in his two sense!

Shane Duncan
Shane Duncan

Bella Banks this is from the "Urban Dictionary" Whoure (Who*Were) noun. An extremely nasty slut type person. A whoure is someone who goes beyond these normal limits into the realm of being such a massive whore that they have reached pirate whoure status. Whoures are commonly known to be able to fit buffalo into their vaginas as well as members of the Vietcong. That whoure has Vietcong living in her snatch!

Bella Banks
Bella Banks

Luke Forrester yeah he was a real tool like that other idiot that thinks he went to Yale but can't spell Whore probably hahaahahah.

Bella Banks
Bella Banks

Padráig Mac an TSaoir lmmfao your another puppet, learn how to spell properly bitch don't be mad at me cuz you're an illiterate idiot, and if you don't know what illiterate means, I'm pretty sure they have dictionaries in the Yale library hahaahahah hahaahahah.............hahaahahah goof. I just sharted in your face!

Luke Forrester
Luke Forrester

I think he blocked you because i see ten of his post to everyone else's one.

Padráig Mac An TSaoir
Padráig Mac An TSaoir

Bella Banks I'm from a country that speaks proper English.. Not Ebonics like you stupid monkeys. You people are truly the scum of the earth.. Keep your big mouth running and you will eventually be ethnically cleansed...

clinton.hutchins
clinton.hutchins

Thursday, September 04, 2014: Tyrone

Do you have a point to make Tyrone or you just love rambling on ?

Tyrone
Tyrone

What about launching a "probe" into the New Black Panthers inciting a riot?

How about the Nation Of Islam , remember their leaders Farrakhan quotes: On Hezbollah: “They call them terrorists, I call them freedom fighters.” ....or .... "My god will wipe this country (America) from the face of the earth.”

Wait---Eric Holder is black, so is his boss.

Never-mind ----Blame Whitey

Steven Torlina
Steven Torlina

Bigots really fucktard I guess me supporting a officer protecting his life against any race so he can come back too his family I must be a racist gtfo

Ben King
Ben King

There are eye witnesses that saw Darren Wilson mowing his lawn later that day. So it must have been a REAL brutal attack.

Ben King
Ben King

And all the ignorant bigots come out to comment. I HAVE COP FRIENDS! Really? Good for you. Hopefully your friends do the uniform proud and aren't like you.

Terry Iverson
Terry Iverson

If we investigated doj with the same vigor what do you think we would find

APS221
APS221

So the Feds are doing to the City of Ferguson what the City of Ferguson has done to the people of Ferguson?

clinton.hutchins
clinton.hutchins

@Tyrone 

Thursday, September 04, 2014: Tyrone

Do you have a point to make Tyrone or you just love rambling on ?

pas82
pas82

he was protecting his life because Michael brown had claws that  could slice him

.

clinton.hutchins
clinton.hutchins

Thursday, September 04, 2014: Steve Torlina

Of Course You Are Racist! You already know that, but you would like to convince others that you are not. That only works on Rush Limbaugh Sarah Palin, & the Glenn Beck crowd. You can't say racist shit and then try to back it up with some idiotic ideology.

SusanM.
SusanM.

@clinton.hutchins @Tyrone

Is clinton.hutchins obsessed with double posting?

I believe Tyrone has a point about the New Black Panthers, and the Nation Of Islam has made itself very "close" to the Brown family lately.

The implied "blame the white man" is very much in keeping with both organizations media agenda.

This country has an epidemic of black-on-black crime ,  yet AG Eric Holder does focus much of his agencies attention to this single incident involving a "white police officer". 

http://gotnews.com/msnbc-chrishayes-nbc-john-yang-trusts-coached-witness-michaelbrown-shooting/

SusanM.
SusanM.

@clinton.hutchins

Throwing the "RACIST" word out to win an argument has lost a lot of its 2008 impact.

Try substituting that word for a synonym that more specifically implies your reasoning.  

SusanM.
SusanM.

@clinton.hutchins @SusanM.

How profound and timely is your inquiry ! 

So thought provoking .... let me take a wild guess ...your hoping to get into community college next year? 

Try majoring in ebonics, or graphic design. Aren't you late for 2nd shift at Burger King?


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