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Photo: Yalonda M. James/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

The Justice Department is opening a civil investigation into the Louisville Metro Police Department to determine if they have engaged in "violations of the Constitution or federal law," Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Monday.

Why it matters: Louisville became the center of national attention last year after police officers shot and killed Breonna Taylor in her home. Her death led to a wave of mass protests across the country.

  • It’s the second "pattern or practice" investigation the DOJ has announced in a week’s span, after it said it would probe Minneapolis last week.

What he's saying: The DOJ will look at whether the department has engaged in a "pattern or practice" of civil rights violations or unlawful activity, according to Garland.

  • "Trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve" is the key to safety.
  • The DOJ will work with the department to increase transparency and accountability, Garland said. "We come to them as partners, knowing that we share a common aim."

The DOJ plans to investigate:

  • The use of unreasonable force, including incidents involving peaceful protesters.
  • Unconstitutional stops, searches and seizures.
  • Unlawful search warrants in private homes.
  • Discriminatory conduct on the basis of race.

If violations are uncovered, the DOJ will work with the department to arrive at "mutually agreeable steps" to correct and prevent unlawful practices.

  • The DOJ will follow the law and the facts "wherever they lead," Garland said.

The big picture: The announcement comes one week after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, signaling a shift in future prosecutions of police brutality cases.

Go deeper: 6 police killings occurred in the 24 hours after verdict in Chauvin trial

Go deeper

14 mins ago - World

Biden: "Israel has a right to defend itself"

President Biden during a news conference at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Biden told reporters Wednesday it's his "expectation and hope" that there will soon be an end to fighting between Israel and Hamas, which has killed scores of Palestinians and several Israelis.

Details: Biden, after speaking with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said that he hoped the conflict would be "closing down sooner than later," despite Israel's government announcing plans to scale up its military offensive.

The states ending federal pandemic unemployment benefits early

Protesters demand senators support the continuation of unemployment benefits on July 16, 2020 in Miami Springs, Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

At least 13 Republican-led states have announced they are terminating their involvement in federal pandemic-related unemployment programs early.

Driving the news: Many of the states' governors cited worker shortages. But some experts say it's the job climate, including pandemic-era factors, and not unemployment benefits that is determining when and how people return to work.

Elon Musk suspends Tesla purchases with bitcoin

Elon Musk. Photo: Liesa Johannssen-Koppitz/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Consumers can no longer buy Tesla vehicles with bitcoin, CEO Elon Musk announced on Twitter Wednesday.

What he's saying: Musk cited the environmental concerns associated with bitcoin — the cryptocurrency has a massive carbon footprint — as his reasoning behind Wednesday's decision.

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