Department of Justice

DOJ to Attempt to Determine Just How Racist Police Are

Federal grants will be offered for more research.

|

It's not exactly much of a secret to anybody that minority males in America are stopped and arrested disproportionately to whites. But apparently the Department of Justice thinks awarding $4.75 million in grants will help figure out how racist our justice system is. Today Attorney General Eric Holder announced plans to collect data on the matter. Brace yourself for irrelevant Trayvon Martin references:

Noting that African-American and Hispanic males are arrested at disproportionately high rates, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday that the Justice Department will seek to collect data about stops, searches and arrests as part of a larger effort to analyze and reduce the possible effect of bias within the criminal justice system.

Attorney General Holder said the project grew out of President Obama's call, issued last July following the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case, for the Justice Department to seek to reduce tensions between law enforcement and minority communities.

"Racial disparities contribute to tension in our nation generally and within communities of color specifically, and tend to breed resentment towards law enforcement that is counterproductive to the goal of reducing crime," Attorney General Holder said. "Of course, to be successful in reducing both the experience and the perception of bias, we must have verifiable data about the problem.  As a key part of this initiative, we will work with grant recipients and local law enforcement to collect data about stops and searches, arrests, and case outcomes in order to help assess the impact of possible bias."

The data collection is one part of the Department's new National Center for Building Community Trust and Justice. It will be funded through $4.75 million in competitively awarded grants. The grant recipients will be named later this year.

Holder's full statement can be viewed here. Unfortunately, much like the administration's approach toward disproportionate punishment handed out to minorities in public school systems, Holder's comments focus more on the "fairness" of the system and less on the scope and size of government authority and the criminalization of personal vices and behavior. There's nothing indicating the administration is interested in reducing the number of people going to prison, just attempting to increase young minority men's "trust" in the government and police by some nebulous idea of fair distribution of police response.

Tip to Holder and Obama: Minority men will never trust police as long as police keep putting them in jail for things that shouldn't be crimes in the first place.

The Department of Justice also recently announced new guidelines for clemency in sentencing hearings. Read more here.

NEXT: Obama Piles New Sanctions on Russia for 'Provocation' in Ukraine

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. That would be good to know! Are they Donald Sterling racist or just generic white person racist?

  2. My bet: the response to this will be to correct the racial disparity by arresting MORE white people, as opposed to fewer people of color.

    Then, there’s suddenly racial equality AND increased profits for the private prison industry.

    1. I want to know who is going to investigate the racism of Holder and the DOJ.

  3. Sounds like someone in the administration knows someone who needs grant money.

  4. Pretty fucking
    racist, moving on…
    My bet: the response to this will be to correct the racial disparity by arresting MORE white people, as opposed to fewer people of color.

    Then, there’s suddenly racial equality AND increased profits for the private prison industry.
    What’s disturbing is that this idea will be floated about by our benevolent overlords, mark my words.

    1. Sadly, you’re right.

  5. Alt-text not working, sorry Carnival.

  6. Giving grants for studies with this kind of slant just creates biased results. The researchers are just going to find evidence that the police are racist so they can get more grant money!

    This is the same reason there are so many affirmative global warming studies and so few contrary studies. The authors want money so they go after a certain result.

    As someone who has to write proposals…. the system is broken.

    1. iEagleHammer|4.28.14 @ 5:42PM|#

      “Giving grants for studies with this kind of slant just creates biased results.”

      Bias is built into the funding.

      ” Attorney General Holder said. “Of course, to be successful in reducing both the experience and the perception of bias, we must have verifiable data about the problem. ”

      See, Holder has already determined there is a problem of racial bias. The funding of the study is to be able to claim HOW MUCH racial bias, not if there is any.

      If more crimes are committed by the group being studied, is it still racial bias if that group also gets arrested more often ?

      Just asking?

    2. I was going to say it appears to be another result in search of a study.

    3. Research in this country is seriously flawed. Too many times, the researchers re willing to slant the research to fit the agenda of the sponsor.

  7. The police union will deny any wrongdoing. They’ll point to the increasing number of minorities in the police department and claim great progress in diversity. Game over, money not well spent.

    The hateful right wingers will also insist that crime is going down overall and mandatory sentencing on gun violence and hate crime enjoys progressive support.

  8. How much do you wanna bet this involves more gun running

  9. The Mafia going after the Mafia….this could be fun.

  10. This word?”racism” (and its variants such as “racist”)?has been so overused, misused and abused, it has lost any meaning it ever has.

  11. “It’s not exactly much of a secret to anybody that minority males in America are stopped and arrested disproportionately to whites.”

    It’s not exactly much of a secret to anybody that minority males in America commit a vastly disproportionate number of crimes when compared to whites.

    1. Shhhhh. You’re not supposed to notice that.

    2. Ahhh this comments gets into the good stuff… because the question is: why?

      That’s the questions proggys don’t want you to ask.

      1. When you have a culture with mentors like “Snoop Lion” and “Flavor Flav”, what could possibly go wrong?

      2. Why? The very short version is (I believe) mainly due to progressive creating a protected class of people. This causes the affected people to think that they are victims. If you want people to behave like everyone else, you should start be treating them like everyone else (equality).

    3. Thank you for that. There is a reason most convicts are black or Hispanic.

  12. If Eric Holder weren’t black he would have been arrested a long time ago.

  13. We do understand how racist our Attorney general is without doubt!

  14. Clearly contempt of congress is both racist and sexist.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.