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The Justice Department is preparing to announce a civil rights investigation into the practices of the Baltimore police department following a request from that city’s mayor, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday.

The investigation could be announced as early as Friday, according to the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision had not yet been made public.

The unrest in Baltimore, and the tension it exposed between the police and the community, has presented new Attorney GeneralLoretta Lynch with the first test of her young tenure. She was sworn in last week as the successor to Eric Holder, whose final year as Attorney General was consumed by matters of race and police practices, and has spoken several times about the need to mend troubled relations between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

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