Addressing the state of race and policing relations, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that he plans to introduce new policies that will end racial profiling “once and for all.”
Speaking to a capacity crowd at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where the 1960s civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was a preacher, Holder said he’d lay out specific policy changes in the coming days, but acknowledged that the events in Ferguson, Missouri, had laid bare significant issues regarding policing and race relations.
“The issues raised in Missouri are not unique to that state or small city,” he said.
Tackling those issues would require systemic changes and a commitment at the federal, state, and local levels to change how law enforcement interacts with the public. “Our police officers cannot be, or be viewed as, an occupying force, disconnected to the communities they serve,” Holder said. “Bonds that have been broken must be restored; bonds that never existed must be created.”
Part of that effort, he added, would be “rigorous new standards and robust safeguards to help end racial profiling once and for all.”