Feds investigate allegations of police misconduct in Ferguson

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson in front of a burnt down gas station identifying Darren Wilson as the officer involved. (Photo: Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

The U.S. Justice Department opened a civil pattern or practice investigation into allegations of misconduct within the City of Ferguson Police Department, the federal agency announced Thursday. The investigation will look for systematic violations of the Constitution or federal law by police and was set off after the Aug. 9 officer-involved shooting of a Ferguson, Missouri, man sparked protest there.

The DOJ also announced its office of Community Oriented Policing Services has launched a collaborative reform initiative with the St. Louis County Police Department, which will offer technical guidance on proper crowd-control measures.

“Ferguson and St. Louis County are not the first places that we have become engaged to ensure fair and equitable policing and they will not be the last.  The Department of Justice will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the Constitution has meaning for all communities,” Attorney General Eric Holder said.