CHICAGO

- A federal civil-rights investigation looking at one of the nation's largest police departments began in earnest yesterday, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel will talk with federal investigators today.

Interim Superintendent John Escalante told a City Council hearing Tuesday about a planned sit-down between investigators and police brass yesterday, adding, "We have not been through anything like this before."

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the investigation on Dec. 7 amid protests over the release of a video of the 2014 fatal shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald by a white officer, Jason Van Dyke, who is charged with murder.

Chicago joins 22 other police departments similarly investigated since the start of the Obama administration, including Baltimore and New Orleans.

The Justice Department said yesterday it is having "productive" talks on police reforms in Ferguson, Mo., where a probe was opened after the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in 2014.