WASHINGTON — When heavily armed police officers swarmed the streets of Ferguson, Mo., after the fatal shooting last year of a young, unarmed black man, they only worsened tensions and made it harder to regain public confidence and control, a draft report from the Justice Department has concluded.
The report describes a chaotic scene in which the police violated people’s constitutional rights and it was often unclear who was in charge and what the orders were.
Written by the Justice Department’s community policing unit, the report is intended to help police departments improve their policies and tactics. A final version is expected in the coming weeks. It follows two other lengthy Justice Department civil rights reports — the first cleared Officer Darren Wilson of wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, and the second found widespread discrimination within the Ferguson Police Department.