published Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

AP source: U.S. to investigate Ferguson police

A law enforcement officer on a tactical vehicle watches after an explosive device was fired to disperse a crowd in this Aug. 17, 2014, photo in Ferguson, Mo.
A law enforcement officer on a tactical vehicle watches after an explosive device was fired to disperse a crowd in this Aug. 17, 2014, photo in Ferguson, Mo.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department plans to open an investigation into the practices of the Ferguson Police Department following an officer's shooting last month of an unarmed black man in the Missouri town, a person briefed on the matter said Wednesday night.

The person said the investigation could be announced as early as Thursday. Missouri officials were notified Wednesday of the investigation.

The person said the investigation will look at the training and practices, including patterns of stops, arrests and use-of-force of the police department.

The investigation is separate from an ongoing civil rights investigation the Justice Department is conducting into the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9. A county grand jury is also investigating the shooting, which set off nearly two weeks of unrest in the St. Louis suburb.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation, first reported by The Washington Post, had not yet been announced.

Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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