The U.S. Department of Justice will investigate the Chicago Police Department following protests over its handling of last year’s case of a black teenager shot by a white police officer, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Monday.
U.S. authorities will look at the department’s use of force, including deadly force, among other issues, she said at a press briefing to announce the civil probe.
“Our goal in this investigation… is not to focus on individuals but to improve systems,” Lynch said.
She said federal officials would be investigating “constitutional violations.”
“What we are looking is to see whether or not the police department as a systemic matter has engaged in constitutional violations of policing,” Lynch said.
The announcement comes after almost two weeks of controversy and protests in Chicago following the release of a 2014 police squad car dashboard video showing police officer Jason Van Dyke shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times. Van Dyke has been charged with murder.
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez plans to announce the results of an investigation of another 2014 fatal police shooting later on Monday morning.
(Reporting by Julia Harte in Washington and Mary Wisniewski in Chicago; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Bernadette Baum)