In a move expected to be announced later today, the Justice Department will reportedly commence a broad investigation in the practices of the Ferguson Police Department along with a few neighboring departments. From the Washington Post:
The investigation, which could be announced as early as Thursday afternoon, will be conducted by the Justice Department’s civil rights division and follow a process similar to that used to investigate complaints of profiling and the use of excessive force in other police departments across the country, the officials said.
As another Justice Department probe seeks to conclude whether or not Officer Darren Wilson, who shot Michael Brown to death last month, violated Brown's civil rights, this investigation, as the AP noted, will not be limited to the Michael Brown shooting, which set off a national firestorm.
The investigation will look at the practices in the past few years of the police department, including patterns of stops, arrests and use-of-force, as well as the training the officers receive, the person said.
The to-be-announced investigation dovetails with a New York Times report, which looks at the racial disparity among American police forces and the communities where they enforce the law. The imbalance in Ferguson was among one of the prevailing narratives as the protests required the intervention of state highway police, county police, and the National Guard.
According to the report, the Ferguson Police Department has more white police officers by 55 percentage points than the Ferguson community it serves. That's 34 points more than nearby St. Louis, but also 22 points less than nearby by Dellwood.