The Obama administration issued guidelines Monday that ban federal law enforcement from profiling on the basis of religion, national origin and other characteristics.
Though the grand jury declined to indict officer Darren Wilson, several federal investigations will proceed.
As local authorities in Missouri near the end of their investigation in the Ferguson shooting, a broader federal civil rights review could hold a greater potential to refashion the police department and bring long-lasting change.
Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday that there was an obvious need for “wholesale change” in the Ferguson, Missouri, police department.
U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay is asking the Justice Department to widen its civil rights investigation in the St. Louis region to include municipal courts in the city and throughout St. Louis County.
It has been nearly 11 weeks since Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, was shot and killed by Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer.
Protesters angered by the fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old by police faced off with officers in south St. Louis for a second night as accusations of racial profiling prompted calls for a federal investigation ahead of a weekend of planned rallies and civil disobedience.
A Pentagon program that distributes military surplus gear to local law enforcement allows even departments that the Justice Department has censured for civil rights violations to apply for and get lethal weaponry.
The White House weighed in on a national debate sparked by the shooting of Michael Brown last month in Ferguson.
U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt is asking the Justice Department to help reimburse state and St. Louis-area law enforcement agencies for costs incurred while providing security in Ferguson this month.