Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. this week will launch a broad civil rights investigation into the Ferguson (Mo.) Police Department, according to two federal law enforcement officials.

The investigation, which could be announced as early as Thursday afternoon, will be conducted by the Justice Department's civil rights division and follow a process similar to that used to investigate complaints of profiling and the use of excessive force in other police departments across the country, the officials told the Washington Post reports.

The move follows the shooting last month of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African American, by a white Ferguson police officer who claimed he acted in self-defense.

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