The Justice Department announced Monday “stricter policies” in the use of profiling by law enforcement in the wake of controversial rulings in the deaths of two black men during confrontations with police.
The new policy published by the department says that police may not use “race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity” when dealing with suspects, unless that information is critical to giving a description of the suspect.
The deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner have prompted nationwide protests and calls that police forces are discriminating against blacks.
“I have repeatedly made clear that profiling by law enforcement is not only wrong, it is profoundly misguided and ineffective,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. “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, it’s imperative that we take every possible action to institute strong and sound policing practices.”
The new guidelines build upon a 2003 law signed by President George W. Bush.