NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice says it's investigating allegations that people may have been detained unlawfully by police officers and sheriff's deputies in Evangeline Parish in central Louisiana.

The Justice Department said Tuesday it's looking into whether the Ville Platte Police Department and the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office have used "investigative holds" to unlawfully detain people. It's against the law for officers to detain people without proper cause.

The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division is leading the investigation.

Officials with both Evangeline Parish agencies did not immediately return messages seeking comment. The Ville Platte mayor also did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

DOJ says it will examine whether officers and deputies have engaged in a pattern using investigative holds in violation of the U.S. Constitution and federal law.


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