Records show Department of Justice nixed civil rights probe in Tennessee slaughterhouse case

FILE - This Friday, March 22, 2019, file photo shows the Department of Justice Building in Washington. The U.S. Department of Justice is opening a sweeping antitrust investigation of major technology companies and whether their online platforms have hurt competition, suppressed innovation or otherwise harmed consumers. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

The Department of Justice nixed a civil rights investigation of a federal agent purportedly captured on video placing his boot on the neck of a Latino worker at a Grainger County slaughterhouse - within days of receiving a referral on the incident and one week before the agent was interviewed about it, newly revealed records show.

The Justice Department's refusal to probe the actions of U.S. Department of Homeland Security Agent John Witsell in an April 2018 raid on the Southeastern Provision slaughterhouse was revealed in a motion filed July 29 in U.S. District Court.

The motion shows the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division was notified of the alleged excessive force by Witsell on March 28. Within days, the division stated in a letter that it would not conduct a formal inquiry, according to court records.