From remarks by Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder at a news briefing yesterday in Washington:
Next week the attorney general will bring together community and civil rights leaders, police chiefs and members of the academic and faith communities to examine ways to strengthen the relations between law enforcement and the communities that they serve. Building trust between law enforcement officers and communities is one of the most challenging tasks facing our nation today. . . .
Today we are releasing a report . . . on citizen perceptions of crime and policing in 12 American cities. Today's report comes from surveys conducted last year and are the first neighborhood surveys sponsored by the department in 20 years.
The views expressed in these surveys are revealing. For instance, approximately 85 percent of the residents in the 12 cities thought that their local police were doing a good job. While only 10 percent of white residents were dissatisfied with their local police, on average, 24 percent of black residents and 22 percent of other people of color were dissatisfied. . . .
The 12 cities, I believe, can learn from these numbers. A city might learn, for instance, that they need to do more to educate residents about how to report crimes. They might discover that one type of crime affects the community's sense of security more than another. They might recognize that there is still too great a gulf between the views of the minority community and white residents. And that's why these statistics are so meaningful.