Article courtesy of ABC News via “The Rundown” 12/8/14
The Department of Justice is announcing today new limits on racial profiling, and the department’s hope is that other law enforcement agencies will follow the example. Although the process of drawing up the new limits on profiling began in 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder pushed diligently over the last several weeks to have the policy finalized before he leaves office, a DOJ official said.
“During the last two weeks in particular, it has been the first item on the agenda each day in his morning senior staff meetings,” the official said. “It will be one of the signature accomplishments of his tenure. The announcement comes as demonstrators have taken to the streets in cities across the country, angered by the deaths of black men at the hands of white police officers. “Holder intends for the Justice Department to be an innovator in aggressively imposing these curbs,” the official said. “His goal is for federal law enforcement agencies to ‘model’ these new policies, proving to state and local authorities that successful policing does not require profiling.”
The attorney general plans to have a conference call with local law enforcement leaders from across the country today to brief them on the new policy and encourage local authorities to adopt it, the official said. He will continue this call in a series of appearance in the coming weeks, starting Tuesday at a speech in Memphis.
Though the policy is directed at Justice Department agencies, it will also apply to local police that take part in joint task forces, so the example of the federal policies is directly imparted, the official said. A formal memo implementing the policy is expected to be posted on the DOJ website later today.
“As Attorney General, I have repeatedly made clear that profiling by law enforcement is not only wrong, it is profoundly misguided and ineffective — because it wastes precious resources and undermines the public trust,” Holder said. “Particularly in light of certain recent incidents we’ve seen at the local level — and the widespread concerns about trust in the criminal justice process which so many have raised throughout the nation — it’s imperative that we take every possible action to institute strong and sound policing practices.”