The Department of Justice will collect national data on stop and frisks, Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday.
The move, which is aimed at reducing racial bias in the justice system, will create the National Center for Building Community Trust and Justice, Holder said in a video posted on the DOJ’s web site. It will be funded through $4.75 million in grants, he said.
The backlash againststop and frisk gained momentum in New York last year, becoming a political talking point in the mayor’s race. A federal judge ruled last year that the practice was unconstitutional. The city appealed the ruling, but Mayor Bill de Blasio dropped it after taking office.
“This overrepresentation of young men of color in our criminal justice system is a problem we must confront–not only as an issue of individual responsibility but also as one of fundamental fairness, and as an issue of effective law enforcement,” Holder said. “Of course, I realize that progress will not come easily, and the changes we seek will not take hold overnight. But the Justice Department is firmly committed to the goal of opening doors to cooperation and trust that will ultimately lead to safer and healthier communities.”