In a speech on Monday night, Attorney General Eric Holder said he plans to target the practice of racial profiling in law enforcement agencies throughout the country and end it "once and for all."
In the wake of ongoing protests in Ferguson and other parts of the country, Holder spoke at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta (where Martin Luther King, Jr. preached) on Monday. Holder told the audience he is planning to unveil new Justice Department guidance aimed at stopping racial profiling. Via the Associated Press/Yahoo:
"In the coming days, I will announce updated Justice Department guidance regarding profiling by federal law enforcement. This 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 meeting came on the heels of President Barack Obama's request to federal agencies Monday for recommendations to ensure the U.S. isn't building a "militarized culture" within police departments. The White House also announced it wants more police to wear cameras that capture their interactions with civilians. The cameras are part of a $263 million spending package to help police departments improve their community relations.
Holder told the crowd is also meeting with law enforcement agencies across the country, starting with Atlanta. According to the AP, President Obama asked Holder to conduct the meetings in various regions following the protests in Ferguson after a grand jury declined to indicted Darren Wilson. It's a welcome move towards concrete action for the administration following what some deemed a lackluster, underwhelming response by the president in the wake of the grand jury decision.
During his speech in Atlanta, protesters interrupted the attorney general with chants of "no justice, no peace." Holder, who recently announced his resignation as attorney general, responded to the protesters. Via NBC 11:
Holder responded, "I ain't mad at you" and continued his speech, urging the audience not to condemn the demonstration they had just seen.
"What we saw there was a genuine expression of concern and involvement," he said of the protesters.
Goodbye and good riddance, racial profiling. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.
Watch his speech here.
Image via AP Images.