DOJ Issues New Guidance on Policing Protests

Holder says aim is to protect constitutional rights as well as safety
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The Department of Justice has released new guidance to law enforcement on policing protests. That comes as protestors in Ferguson, Mo., are awaiting the grand jury verdict on the Michael Brown shooting.

In a YouTube video posted on the DOJ website, attorney general Eric Holder said the guidance was a way to help officers maintain public safety while "safeguarding constitutional rights."

The police in Ferguson drew criticism for their treatment of both protestors and some journalists covering the protests that erupted after unarmed Brown was shot by a Ferguson policeman

Holder did not cite Ferguson by name, but was clearly referencing it when he talked about recent protests that had "sought to bring attention to real and significant underlying issues involving police practices, implicit bias, and pervasive community distrust."

"It is vital to engage in planning and preparation, from evaluating protocols and training to choosing the appropriate equipment and uniforms," he said, both criticisms of Ferguson's military-style response to the protests.

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