CBS (Atlanta), December 2, 2014
Speaking at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta–the church where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preached–U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday that he will soon unveil long-planned Justice Department guidance aimed at ending racial profiling.
Holder traveled to Atlanta to meet with law enforcement and community leaders for the first in a series of regional meetings around the country. The president asked Holder to set up the meetings in the wake of clashes between protesters and police in Ferguson, Missouri.
“In the coming days, I will announce updated Justice Department guidance regarding profiling by federal law enforcement. This will institute rigorous new standards–and robust safeguards–to help end racial profiling, once and for all,” Holder said. “This new guidance will codify our commitment to the very highest standards of fair and effective policing.”
“We are dealing with concerns that are truly national in scope and that threaten the entire nation. Broadly speaking, without mutual understanding between citizens–whose rights must be respected–and law enforcement officers–who make tremendous and often-unheralded personal sacrifices every day to preserve public safety–there can be no meaningful progress,” Holder said. “Our police officers cannot be seen as an occupying force disconnected from the communities they serve. Bonds that have been broken must be restored. Bonds that never existed must now be created.”
While the grand jury has made its decision, the Justice Department continues its investigation into the death of Brown and into allegations of unconstitutional policing patterns or practices by the Ferguson Police Department, Holder said to loud applause.
Holder also told the crowd that the meetings he’s convening around the country are just the beginning and that he wants to start a frank dialogue and then translate that into concrete action and results.