Clay wants wider civil rights investigation

AP News
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Posted: Oct 28, 2014 8:03 PM

ST. LOUIS (AP) — U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay is asking the Justice Department to widen its civil rights investigation in the St. Louis area to include municipal courts.

The Justice Department began an investigation of Ferguson and St. Louis County police following the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed, black 18-year-old, by Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson, who is white. The shooting exposed an undercurrent of racial unrest in Ferguson and other nearby suburbs in mostly black communities of north St. Louis County.

Clay sent a letter Tuesday to Acting Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta. Clay cites a report from the nonprofit Better Together that he said shows many jurisdictions operate courts as a revenue source, with little oversight.

Justice Department spokeswoman Dena Iverson said Clay's letter will be reviewed.