The U.S. Justice Department will launch a broad civil rights investigation into the police department of Ferguson, Missouri, where an unarmed young black man was fatally shot by a white police officer last month.
News outlets say the Justice Department will announce the investigation as early as Thursday. The probe will look into allegations that Ferguson police have engaged in a repeated pattern of abusive treatment against the town's black residents, as well as how its officers are trained.
Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has a majority black population, but its police force is predominantly white. The Washington Post reported last week at least five current Ferguson police officers and one former officer are facing federal lawsuits accusing them of excessive force.
The Justice Department is already conducting a separate civil rights investigation into the August 9 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.