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Feds to investigate Ferguson, Mo., police

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Ferguson policeThe U.S. Justice Department notified Ferguson, Mo., police officials Wednesday that the federal government would launch a broad investigation into the policing practices of the city, a person briefed on the matter said.

The probe goes beyond a previously announced investigation into the shooting of an unarmed teenager by a Ferguson police officer last month that sparked weeks of unrest in the St. Louis suburb.

Justice officials were expected to formally announce their intentions as soon as Thursday, said the person who was not authorized to comment publicly.

The inquiry, to be conducted by the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, will examine years of data to determine whether the department engaged in a so-called pattern and practice of discriminatory policing and the use of excessive force, the source said.

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