The story behind the images below is one of an increasingly bleak portrait of the United States, the most powerful nation in the world, and how its citizens live under the most brutal and oppressive of political systems.
The Post reported last month that the Justice Department is investigating a string of protests across the country over the summer against the police shootings of unarmed black men, including Eric Garner and Michael Brown.
The protests came as protests over the police killings of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Taminya Johnson and others have taken on a racial dimension in the aftermath of the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and other unarmed black Americans.
The protests have intensified after police in Dallas, Texas, used force against protesters, resulting in at least 18 people dead and dozens injured.
Police officers in Baltimore, Maryland, used deadly force against a crowd of protesters, killing one.
The Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security have been investigating what role the FBI may have played in the deaths, including whether law enforcement agencies had “intentionally failed to report” the use of force.
On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a series of steps to address the concerns, including the creation of a new task force that will examine whether the department’s internal policies, practices and training are “adequate.”
The Department of Justice has been criticized by civil rights advocates for its reluctance to take any action against police departments that use deadly force.
In July, the DOJ announced it would begin reviewing all uses of force against people with mental illness and would create a new position for a federal expert to study the use-of-force incident reports.
In the months since, a number of high-profile incidents have led to protests in the United State, including two nights of violence in Chicago over the killing of 18-year-old Laquan McDonald, and the deadly police shooting of a mentally ill black man in North Charleston, South Carolina.
The New York Times reported on Wednesday that the department has opened an investigation into whether police officers violated the civil rights of a Black Lives Matter protester who was pepper sprayed.
The protesters said that officers used a water cannon and pepper spray against them, and that a CNN video of the incident shows that a video of one officer spraying a protester with pepper spray appears to show that another officer appears to point the pepper spray toward him and a bystander, not the protester.
The Times reported that the video shows the protester in the pepper-spray incident being placed into a chokehold.
A video showing the pepper spraying incident appears to have been taken from the dashboard of the police cruiser in which the protester was being arrested.