The Justice Department intends to launch a civil rights investigation of the entire Ferguson, Missouri, Police Department, according to administration officials.
An announcement of the investigation is planned for Thursday.
With the help of the FBI, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division has been investigating last month’s fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager, Michael Brown, who was wounded several times by a Ferguson police officer. The shooting touched off several days of sometimes violent protest.
But this new investigation would be much broader, looking at the conduct of the entire Ferguson Police Department over the past several years.
The Justice Department will also look at the practices of the county police department, but that will be a more cooperative investigation, an administration official said.
The wide scope of this investigation is a big deal.