Crime & Safety

Crime & Safety news

Updated Feb. 12 with comments from Mayor James Knowles III. -- The Department of Justice on Wednesday filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city of Ferguson, alleging widespread constitutional violations in its police department and municipal courts.

The suit came less than 24 hours after the Ferguson City Council voted to attach conditions to a consent decree that would have eliminated the need for a lawsuit.

Ferguson's decision raised a number of questions about what comes next. We tackled a few of them here.

On Monday, President Obama announced changes to the federal prison system that include banning solitary confinement for juvenile offenders and for prisoners who have committed low-level infractions, calling the practice overused and potentially devastating.

Fingerprinting has been around since the age of the Egyptians. However, modern criminal forensics in the United States have only been using this unique human feature to identify criminals for a little over 100 years. And it all goes back to an odd mix-up at the United States Penitentiary, Leavenworth more than a century ago.

The Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division will be launching a federal investigation into whether the Chicago police department has engaged in a pattern or practice of discriminatory or unconstitutional policing, sources tell NPR's Carrie Johnson.

"The U.S. Attorney in Chicago has already been investigating the death of a young man shot 16 times by a Chicago policeman last year," Carrie reports.

Information continues to trickle in regarding the deadly shootings Wednesday at Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, Calif. Here's what we've learned so far.

The shooting

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