WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Justice Department launched a broad investigation Thursday into the practices of the Ferguson, Missouri, police department, following the shooting last month of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer.<br />
Attorney General Eric Holder announced the probe, saying that he and his department had heard numerous concerns from people in the St. Louis suburb about police practices, a history of "deep mistrust" and a lack of diversity on the police force.<br />
The new probe is separate from an ongoing federal civil rights investigation into the circumstances of the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson. A local grand jury is also investigating the shooting, which set off about two weeks of unrest in the streets of Ferguson and became a flashpoint in the national discussion of police treatment of minorities across the country.<br />
This new effort will look at police department practices over the past few years, including patterns of stops, arrests and use of force, as well as the training Ferguson police officers receive.<br />
The Ferguson department said it welcomes the Justice Department investigation.
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
Evoking history and appealing for solidarity, President Barack Obama on Monday cast his decision to send 250 more troops to Syria as a bid to keep up "momentum" in the campaign to dislodge Islamic State extremists. He pressed European allies to match the U.S. with new contributions of their own.
Atlanta Hawks player Thabo Sefolosha filed a federal lawsuit against New York City on Wednesday, alleging he was unjustly arrested outside of a trendy nightclub last year during a fracas that left him with a broken leg and ended his NBA season.