Department of Justice Begins Chicago Police Department Probe Wednesday

U.S. Department of Justice officials began their probe into the Chicago Police Department on Wednesday.

The mayor's office said in a statement that the DOJ is holding initial meetings with CPD, The Independent Police Review Authority, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and senior staff.

"As the mayor has said, we welcome the work that DOJ is doing and have committed to help in any way we can," the statement added.

"The Chicago Police Department welcomes the meeting requested by the Department of Justice, and pledges the City’s complete and full cooperation," the CPD said in a statement. "Our mutual goal is to create a stronger, better Police Department that keeps the community safe while respecting the civil rights of every Chicagoan."

Last week, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the DOJ would be launching a civil "pattern and practice investigation" into the CPD to determine whether the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was part of a larger, widespread pattern of officers violating civil rights.

The investigation will focus on the department’s use of force, Lynch said, particularly if there are racial, ethnic or other disparities in officers' use of force, and its systems of accountability.

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