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SEATTLE-- Federal investigators have been looking into possible civil rights violations by the Seattle Police Department for several months.

U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan saidFriday the probe began months before the American Civil Liberties Union and community groups asked for the investigation.

Durkan said her office was seeing what she called an erosion of trust. She added,
Police need the trust of the community.

Durkan said her office has been in discussions with the U.S. Department of Civil Rights for several months and that investigators have been gathering documents to determine if there is a pattern within the Seattle Police Department of unnecessary force against minorities.

Next week, Durkan says her office will determine the scope of the review after meeting with Police Chief John Diaz, Mayor Mike McGinn and members of the Seattle City Council.

Durkan says several high-profile cases, going back several months, led to the initial review.

If a full investigation is ordered, the Justice Department would conduct a top-to-bottom review of Seattle Police operations.

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