Justice Department Study to Explore Police Bias

Source: Melanie Eversley/USA Today

At the end of a summer that has included several controversial and sometimes fatal confrontations between police and unarmed black people, Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday that his office is spearheading a study of potential law enforcement bias in five to-be-named cities.

The fatal Aug. 9 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., which spurred nights of violent protests and drew weeks of national attention, underscored the need for such a study, Holder told the Associated Press.

The study would be conducted over a period of three years by a team of criminal justice researchers who would make recommendations, Holder said.

Representatives with the Justice Department could not be reached late Tuesday.

The study was in the works months before Ferguson erupted, but the clashes that overtook the St. Louis suburb for weeks afterward highlighted the need for the study, Holder said. Grants will go to researchers from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, Yale University, UCLA and the Urban Institute, based in Washington.

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