Holder Announces Initiative to Address Profiling Storm Nation Must Unite to “Address Realities Too Long Ignored”
Photo courtesy of Trice Edney News Wire
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
By Zenitha Prince
Trice Edney News Wire
Attorney General Eric Holder announced Dec. 1 that the U.S. Justice Department will be updating its guidance on racial profiling.
“In the coming days, I will announce updated Justice Department guidance regarding profiling by federal law enforcement, which 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.”
The retooled guidelines were announced as part of a suite of reforms the Obama administration announced this week in the wake of the grand jury decision in the police-involved shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and resulting worldwide protests.
“The problems we must confront are not only found in Ferguson…. We are dealing with concerns that are truly national in scope and that threaten the entire nation,” Holder said. 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.
“But the issue is larger than just the police and the community,” he continued. “Our overall system of justice must be strengthened and made more fair. In this way, we can ensure faith in the justice system. Without that deserved faith, without that reasoned belief, there can be no justice.”
Holder made the announcement in an address at the renowned Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where the attorney general and other Justice officials joined in the first of several meetings with law enforcement, civic, and community leaders around the country.
“It was here at Ebenezer Baptist, well over half a century ago, that our nation’s greatest advocate for justice, for peace, and for righteousness…Dr. King set out not merely to change our laws, but to change the world – and to pull the country he loved ever closer to its founding principles,” Holder said.
“It’s clear that our nation continues to face persistent challenges – along with the countless opportunities that Dr. King helped make possible,” Holder continued. “As we recommit ourselves to the cause with which he entrusted us, it’s apparent that our nation’s journey is not yet over. And so we return once more to this hallowed place to seek shelter from a terrible storm – a storm that I’m certain we will weather, so long as we continue to stand united – and unafraid to address realities too long ignored.”