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State investigates Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

Associated Press

Los Angles – The California Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation to determine whether the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has engaged in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional policing, Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Friday.

The investigation of the nation’s largest sheriff’s department was prompted by allegations of excessive force, retaliation and other misconduct, the Justice Department said in a statement.

The statement did not identify any specific incidents.

“As opposed to a criminal investigation into an individual incident or incidents, a pattern or practice investigation typically works to identify and, as appropriate, ultimately address potentially systemic violations of the constitutional rights of the community at large by a law enforcement agency,” it said.

The department noted that the attorney general “has made no determinations at this time about specific complaints or allegations or about the agency’s policies and practices.”

Becerra, who is President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, stressed that it is not a criminal investigation.