FBI, Justice Department To Investigate St. Louis-Area Police

Hundreds of protesters stand outside the St. Louis city jail on Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, a day after police arrested more than 120 people. Protests began on Friday after former police officer Jason Stockley was found innocent in the 2011 fatal shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith. Photo by David Carson, dcarson@post-dispatch.com
David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal investigation will look into possible civil rights violations by police in the St. Louis area in the two months since protests broke out after a white former police officer was acquitted in the shooting death of a black suspect.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced the investigation in a statement Monday. The FBI and the U.S. attorney’s office in St. Louis also will help with the investigation.

Protest leaders, Democratic U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay and others called for a federal investigation. More than 300 people have been arrested at protests since Sept. 15, when a judge ruled that Jason Stockley was not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith.

Several of those arrested have alleged heavy-handed arrests and even taunting by police.

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