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The U.S. Department of Justice is monitoring the investigation of police-involved shooting in Rockford that left an unarmed 23-year-old man dead inside a church-run daycare.

Authorities say Mark Anthony Barmore struggled with officers over a gun, leading officers to use deadly force. But witnesses say Barmore surrendered.

His Aug. 24 death has sparked racial tensions as both police officers are white and Barmore was black. It has also ignited a call to action for better economic conditions in the struggling manufacturing community of about 160,000.

The DOJ has dispatched mediators to help quell unrest. DOJ spokesman Alejandro Miyar (MEE-yar) says the agency is also monitoring the local investigation and will evaluate options after it’s finished.

He declined to give further details Thursday.

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