- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 18, 2014

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced a new campaign Thursday that puts the federal government in control of checking for bias within law enforcement agencies around the nation.

His announcement comes as his department is conducting a review of Ferguson, Missouri, police and whether that department’s majority white composition — in a largely black community — drove biased policing.

Mr. Holder said his three-year campaign will look at five separate “major activities” police perform in as-yet unnamed American cities, The Hill reported. And funding the initiative will be taxpayers, to the tune of a $4.75 million grant.

The research part of the program will be conducted in part by a panel of criminal justice experts, The Hill reported.

The plan will test police strategies and training — and the final result is hoped to bring a national strategy for law enforcement to use to combat bias in departments around the country, The Hill said.

Mr. Holder specifically said the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown from Ferguson warranted the federal action, “to ensure fairness, to eliminate bias and to build community engagement,” The Hill reported.

He addressed the ongoing protests in the St. Louis community, mostly from those who wanted to see the shooting officer, Darren Wilson, arrested: “We can’t allow these tensions to go unresolved,” The Hill reported.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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