WASHINGTON (AP) — Six cities will participate in a federal pilot program aimed at reducing racial bias and improving ties between law enforcement and communities, Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday.
The cities are Fort Worth, Texas; Gary, Indiana; Stockton, California; Birmingham, Alabama; Minneapolis; and Pittsburgh.
The announcement of their selection came six months after Holder revealed the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice, in the aftermath of the Ferguson, Missouri, police shooting last August.
As part of the $4.75 million project, researchers will study data and conduct interviews to develop plans for curbing bias and strategies for building trust between residents and law enforcement. Separately, the Justice Department said it would offer extra training and help to communities that are not part of the project, which is part of the Obama administration’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative aimed at minority men.
Weeks of protests that followed the shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, by a white police officer in Ferguson, exposed the frayed relations between that community and law enforcement and underscored the need for a nationwide initiative, Holder has said.
“What I saw in Ferguson confirmed for me that the need for such an effort was pretty clear,” Holder said in a September interview with The Associated Press in which he announced the project.
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