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Charlie Riedel, Associated Press
Shonta Johnson, from Chicago, takes photos of a memorial in the middle of the street Monday, Nov. 17, 2014, more than three months after black teen Michael Brown was shot and killed there by a white policeman in Ferguson, Mo. The shooting sparked weeks of violent protests and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declaring a state of emergency today as a grand jury deliberates on whether to charge Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death.

WASHINGTON — As local authorities in Missouri near the end of their investigation into the Ferguson shooting, a separate federal review of the police department could hold the potential for longer-lasting change.

A county grand jury is expected to announce its findings soon in the Aug. 9 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer.

Separately, the Justice Department is investigating the practices of the police department, looking for problems in how officers in the predominantly white department interact with the majority-black community.

Whether or not officer Darren Wilson faces criminal prosecution, the civil rights investigation is expected to continue and could dictate changes in how officers carry out fundamental tasks.