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St. Louis police investigation request goes to Washington

File photo courtesy St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS (AP) – The request by St. Louis leaders to have the U.S. attorney’s office investigate police conduct at protests has been referred to the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that in a letter on Wednesday, Acting U.S. Attorney Carrie Costantin says the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division handles investigations that focus on officer discipline and training. It’s not clear if the Justice Department will investigate St. Louis police.

More than 300 arrests have been made during protests since a judge’s mid-September acquittal of white former police officer Jason Stockley in the 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black.

Police have drawn criticism for using force and chemicals in some arrests. Mayor Lyda Krewson and interim police Chief Lawrence O’Toole asked for an independent federal investigation.
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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch