Nov 20, 2:38 PM EST

FBI, Justice Department to investigate St. Louis-area police

AP Photo
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Document
Justice Arthur Cooperman's verdict statement in the Sean Bell case
Summons filed in civil wrongful-death case of Sean Bell
Indictment of three officers in shooting death of unarmed groom
Multimedia
Inside the Sean Bell Shooting
Arrest-related deaths by state
Multimedia
Map of police
gun deaths

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A federal investigation will look into possible civil rights violations by police in the St. Louis area in the two months since protests broke out after a white former police officer was acquitted in the shooting death of a black suspect.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced the investigation in a statement Monday. The FBI and the U.S. attorney's office in St. Louis also will help with the investigation.

Protest leaders, Democratic U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay and others called for a federal investigation. More than 300 people have been arrested at protests since Sept. 15, when a judge ruled that Jason Stockley was not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith.

Several of those arrested have alleged heavy-handed arrests and even taunting by police.

© 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.