News 4 Investigates: Blueprint for federal probe of Ferguson PD -

News 4 Investigates: Blueprint for federal probe of Ferguson PD

ST. LOUIS, Mo. ( -- If you want to know exactly what the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating in its probe of the Ferguson Police Department, just look at the DOJ's 9 page request for records kept by the City of Ferguson.

The letter was sent to the city on September 8, one month after Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Mike Brown, an unarmed black teenager. Wilson is white. Some witnesses say Brown had surrendered and had his hands up when Wilson shot him. Police sources say officer Wilson insisted the shooting was justified. The shooting sparked demonstrations and demands for answers. The protests prompted a strong police response that was widely criticized as being heavy-handed. In response to the shooting and police crowd control tactics, the DOJ launched two separate investigations, one into the shooting and a second deeper and wider probe of the Ferguson PD.

The DOJ letter pertains to the investigation of the department, though it's possible some of the information obtained through the request could be used in the probe of the shooting.

The DOJ requests detailed information on all Ferguson police department officers and civilians employed since January 1, 2010. In addition, the DOJ asked for complaints, incident reports and investigations of "all officer-involved shootings, whether or not resulting in death, all uses of force resulting in death and all in-custody deaths" since January 1, 2004. 

"They're going to learn everything," according to Washington University Law Professor Peter Joy. "Depending on what comes out of it, it can lead to real reform."

The DOJ has taken a similar approach with other police departments, including the Las Vegas PD.

If you want to read the report, click here.

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