The Justice Department is set to launch a civil rights investigation into the Ferguson police department. “The federal officials said the probe will look not only at Ferguson but also at other police departments in St. Louis County. Some, like Ferguson, are predominantly white departments serving majority-African-American communities.”

+ The NYT charts the massive race gap in many of America’s police departments.

+ “Loud music and other noise ordinance violations, zoning violations for uncut grass or unkempt property, violations of occupancy permit restrictions, trespassing, wearing ‘saggy pants,’ business license violations and vague infractions such as ‘disturbing the peace’ or ‘affray’ that give police officers a great deal of discretion to look for other violations.” All of these violations can result in fines. And some towns in St. Louis County pull in 40% of their revenues from such fines. WaPo’s Radley Balko provides an in-depth look at how municipalities profit from poverty.