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White House to investigate Ferguson police practices

Demonstrators gather for a rally in Ferguson, Mo. on Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014 near the site where Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, was fatally shot by a white police officer three weeks earlier.

Demonstrators gather for a rally in Ferguson, Mo. on Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014 near the site where Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, was fatally shot by a white police officer three weeks earlier.  

The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama has said that it will conduct a wide-ranging investigation, through the Justice Department, into the practices of the police department of Ferguson, Missouri, following the August 9 shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager by a police officer.

The killing of Michael Brown (18) by officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson police sparked off widespread protests in the town over allegations of racist attitudes of law enforcement and nationwide outrage centred on the subsequent police crackdown on largely peaceful protestors.

This week, officials said that there would be an inquiry that would “look at the practices in the past few years of the police department, including patterns of stops, arrests and the use of force, as well as the training officers receive”.

The investigation is expected to run parallel to a separate, ongoing civil rights inquiry by the Justice Department, and a local grand jury was also said to be investigating the shooting, in which Mr. Brown sustained at least six bullet wounds including two to the head.

Officials speaking to media characterised the impending investigation as one that would examine previous incidents and complaints involving the Ferguson police and “will look at whether [its] practices… violate federal law or the U.S. Constitution”.

Although U.S. President Barack Obama did not appear take sides in the national debate set off by the police crackdown and urged both the protestors and the police for calm, he sent Attorney General Eric Holder to visit Ferguson on August 22, an opportunity for the senior official to meet with investigators and Mr. Brown's parents and share “personal experiences of having himself been mistreated by the police”.

Watch: >National Guard arrives in Ferguson

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 9:08:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/white-house-to-investigate-ferguson-police-practices/article6380542.ece

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