Post-Ferguson, US to unveil police rules on racial profiling

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Washington, Dec 2 : US Attorney General Eric Holder has announced that the Justice Department will soon be unveiling new guidelines designed to prevent racial profiling by law enforcement agencies after the death of a young African-American, Michael Brown, in shooting by a white police officer in Ferguson.

Post-Ferguson, US to unveil police rules on racial profiling

"This (new guidance) will institute rigorous new standards -- and robust safeguards -- to help end racial profiling, once and for all," Holder said, speaking at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta Monday.

Read: Shooting of unarmed black teen in Ferguson and protests that ensued: Explained

Holder, the nation's first black attorney general, played a key role in pacifying protests that erupted in August following Brown's death and has been outspoken about racial tensions in the country.

Holder embarked on a nation-wide tour which included his stop in Atlanta amidst a fresh wave of protests after a grand jury last week declined to indict officer Darren Wilson in Brown's death.

"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 in a speech at the same church where civil rights hero Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was a pastor.

"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," he added.

"Who could have imagined 50 years ago that a black man would be the attorney general of the United States, serving a black man as the president of the United States?" he said.

When several protesters interrupted his speech and were escorted out, the attorney general said: "What we saw there was a genuine expression of concern and involvement. And it is through that level of involvement, that level of concern and I hope a level of perseverance and commitment, that change ultimately will come."

The public burst into loud applause when Holder spoke about the ongoing dual independent investigation by the Justice Department into the death of Brown and into allegations of unconstitutional policing patterns or practices by the Ferguson police department.

Shortly before Holder's speech to a packed house, President Barack Obama announced a series of measures focused more broadly on the growing mistrust between law enforcement and minority groups.

IANS

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