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U of M law professor gets highest honor from Attorney General

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A law school professor at the University of Minnesota has received the highest award given by the Justice Department for "exceptional service," for his role in the Ferguson investigation.

The U of M revealed in a press release Wednesday that Mark Kappelhoff was given the "prestigious" U.S. Attorney General's Award for Exceptional Service by U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch at a ceremony in Washington D.C. Wednesday.

Kappelhoff was honored for his role as part of the Department of Justice (DOJ) team that conducted the civil rights investigation into the police department in Ferguson, Missouri, following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, whose death sparked major civil unrest.

The outcome of the probe was that the evidence against the department did not support federal criminal charges, the release says, but found that Ferguson Police Department "engages in unconstitutional and biased policing practices."

Kappelhoff has been a member of the U's Law School faculty since 2012, after a 14-year career as a federal prosecutor with the DOJ, during which time he served in several leadership roles.

He took a leave as absence from the U to serve as deputy assistant attorney general in the DOJ's Civil Rights Division.

"The Law School is delighted at this latest recognition of Professor Kappelhoff's extraordinary talent, dedication, and experience," said U of M Dean David Wippman. "While we were happy to loan him to the Justice Department for his service as deputy assistant attorney general, we’re even happier to have him back."

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