Following a shooting that launched an ongoing protest in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo., U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is preparing to investigate the city’s police department in an effort to find potential civil rights abuses.
Eighteen-year-old Mike Brown was fatally shot by Darren Wilson after reportedly attacking the officer and attempting to take his weapon. A vigil in Brown’s honor the following day gave way to riots and widespread looting, ultimately culminating in a nationwide protest.
The Department of Justice is now set to probe Ferguson and other surrounding communities, according to sources cited by the Washington Post. While charges pend against Wilson, Holder is taking a look into excessive force charges against several other members of the local police department.
Notice Holder is starting an investigation of the Ferguson PD, but ignoring why Minneapolis is a hotbed of jihadis
— Ed (@EDinCali) September 4, 2014
In the wake of Brown’s death, Ferguson residents have come forward with numerous complaints about other officers in the community, prompting Democrat State Sen. Mariea Chapelle-Nadal to enthusiastically approve of the current federal inquiry.
“I’ve literally had to pull my staff from Jefferson City and put them in Ferguson,” she said, “because of the number of people who are saying they’ve had past issues with the police.”
As the Post points out, Holder has thus far investigated a total of 34 law enforcement organizations across the country on civil rights abuse accusations. His activism in this regard dwarfs that of any previous attorney general.
In the past, such probes have resulted in either a federal lawsuits against the investigated department or some compromise giving the DOJ access to the local agency for observational purposes.
CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin explained that, as in previous investigations, Holder’s in-depth look into the Ferguson Police Department will likely have far-reaching implications.
“It’s very serious because it can lead to a virtual federal takeover of the police,” he said, “as happened recently in New Orleans.”
Holder is expected to provide more details Thursday afternoon.
Photo credit: North Charleston (Flickr)
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom