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Justice Department launching study of racial bias among police.

shriram | 18th September 2014 | Law And Justice
Justice Department launching study of racial bias among police.

    The Justice Department has enlisted a team of criminal justice researchers to study racial bias in law enforcement in five American cities and recommend strategies to address the problem nationally.

The police shooting last month of an unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri underscored the need for the long-planned initiative, Holder said in an interview with The Associated Press.

He said the three-year project could be a "silver lining" if it helps ease racial tensions and "pockets of distrust that show up between law enforcement and the communities that they serve."

"What I saw in Ferguson confirmed for me that the need for such an effort was pretty clear," Holder said.

The five cities have not yet been selected, but the researchers involved in the project say they're bringing a holistic approach that involves training police officers on issues of racial bias, data analysis and interviews with community members.
The Ferguson police force is overwhelmingly white even though the suburban St. Louis city is roughly 70 percent black. A 2013 report by the Missouri attorney general's office found that Ferguson police stopped and arrested black drivers nearly twice as often as white motorists, but were less likely to find contraband among the black drivers.


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