The U.S. Department of Justice has begun a wideranging investigation of the New Orleans Police Department that will examine hiring practices, use of deadly force and other matters, NOLA.com reports.

There are also eight ongoing federal criminal investigations into the actions of individual officers.

The DOJ probe, which may lead to a consent decree, will evaluate allegations of excessive force by NOPD officers, as well as "unconstitutional searches and seizures, racial profiling, failures to provide adequate police services to particular neighborhoods, and related misconduct," according to a letter from Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez.

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