Michael Brown shooting: US justice department to probe Ferguson police force
Probe comes as five police officers investigated on charges of excessive force
The US Justice Department is to launch a civil rights investigation into the Ferguson police department, following the weeks of rioting sparked by the shooting of Michael Brown, compounding tensions between police and civilians.
The probe, announced by Attorney General Eric Holder, will investigate the patterns of stops and arrests, police training, the use of force, the treatment of people held in the city jail, and the diversity of the Ferguson police force.
It has been seen as the strongest move yet from the Obama administration to address the weeks of rioting and protests that ripped through the streets of Ferguson in August, set off by the shooting of 18-year-old black American Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson.
Brown, who was unarmed, was shot at least six times, which Wilson said he did in self-defence.
The investigation will run concurrently with the department’s probe into the shooting of Brown on 9 August, which Holder said is “very active” but which will “take time”.
Police in Ferguson are already being sued for $40 million (£24 million) by people claiming the authorities beat them, showered them with rubber bullets and wrongfully arrested them during the riots in the St Louis suburb.
Video: Federal investigation into Ferguson police force begins
Separately, the Washington Post reported on Saturday that five current and one former member of the Ferguson police force are facing pending federal law suits claiming they used excessive force. The claims laid against them allege that in one incident officers “hog-tied” a 12-year-old boy, by tying his arms behind his back and his feet together, while he checked his family’s mail box; while others have alleged the officers had pistol-whipped children and also used a stun gun on man suffering from mental health issues, who later died as a result.
Holder said that if the civil rights inquiry finds any reason to expand its investigation to include additional police forces in neighbouring jurisdictions, “we will not hesitate to do so”.
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 HeForShe campaign: Iceland to follow up Emma Watson speech with UN women's rights conference – for men only
- 3 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 4 Ed Sheeran dedicates song to David Cameron
- 5 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Car tax disc changes: Five facts you never knew about your (almost obsolete) tax disc
The Aral Sea: Nasa pictures show how what was once the fourth largest lake in the world has become almost completely dry
Thailand beach murders: Hannah Witheridge 'was raped by two men before being killed'
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- < Previous
- Next >
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...
£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...
Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...