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article imageNew limits on racial profiling released by Department of Justice

By Carol Ruth Weber     Dec 8, 2014 in Lifestyle
Washington D.c. - Attorney General Eric Holder's efforts to have the new limits on racial profiling to be finally pushed through are the result of an expansion of the Guidance Regarding the Use of Race by Federal Law Enforcement Agencies originally put in place in 2003
As reported by ABC News on Dec 8, 2014, "The Department of Justice is announcing today new limits on racial profiling, and the department's hope is that other law enforcement agencies will follow the example." With the unrest occurring across the United States, as people struggle with grand jury decisions in Ferguson, MO and New York, the Department of Justice has announced a new guidance on racial profiling.
The new Guidance has been created to further help curb discrimination practices.
Attorney General Eric Holder, who is about to leave office, pushed to have the new guidelines that he first began working on in 2009, to be finally pushed through. The efforts are the result of an expansion of the Guidance Regarding the Use of Race by Federal Law Enforcement Agencies originally put in place in 2003 by then Attorney General John Ashcroft. The new guidance released Monday, Dec 8, 2014 has added to the "Use of Race" the necessary "Ethnicity, Gender, National Origin, Religion, Sexual Orientation, or Gender Identity."
In order to keep everyone equally safe, as stated in the introduction of the new guidance "Biased law enforcement practices, as the 2003 Guidance recognized with regard to racial profiling, have a terrible cost, not only for individuals but also for the Nation as a whole. This new Guidance reflects the Federal government’s ongoing commitment to keeping the Nation safe while upholding our dedication to the ideal of equal justice under the law".
Added to the newest DOC guidelines is the statement "This new Guidance also applies to state and local law enforcement officers while participating in Federal law enforcement task forces." In addition the new guidance makes reference regarding how officers should proceed regarding national threats stating "A threat to national security, homeland security, or intelligence activity, and the actions to be taken must be reasonable under the totality of the circumstances."
Experts have been speaking out regarding the justice system as well as the need for a grand jury.
In an interview with NewsMax TV Criminal defense attorney Geoffrey G. Nathan, who has worked with the US Attorney's Office, DEA and Homeland security clarifies "The job of the grand jury is to parcel out the facts and render a decision" furthering "A rush to judgment can lead to a fatal mistake."
Specifically speaking about the Ferguson case Nathan explains "The cop in this case deserves to have a fair and impartial hearing as to whether or not there is probable cause to believe that the cop committed a crime in this particular instance", continuing "The only way to do that in our American justice system is to have a protected panel meeting in secret who hears evidence, albeit, only from law enforcement, but in this instance they are bringing out other evidence meaning that the defense has been allowed to put it's statement to the grand jury as well, and that's very unusual."
Nathan further make clears the procedure of the grand jury with "Can't sequester a grand jury because this isn't a trial, so in the grand jury process they fill out forms in which they swear that they will impartially deliberate and make a decision as to whether or not they feel that there is probable cause that a crime has been committed."
In a statement to BuzzFeed News Holder stated “As Attorney General, I have repeatedly made clear that profiling by law enforcement is not only wrong, it is profoundly misguided and ineffective – because it wastes precious resources and undermines the public trust." Holder continued “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 which so many have raised throughout the nation – it’s imperative that we take every possible action to institute strong and sound policing practices.”
In an effort to guide the efforts of all law enforcement agencies and departments throughout the United States, Holder will be discussing with local law enforcement groups the new guidelines in the hope that all will accept and agree to use them.
More about Justice department, us department of justice, Racial profiling, Ferguson, New york
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