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Holder recalls encounters with police

Eric Holder speaks to the NAACP. (EPA/BRIAN BLANCO) Eric Holder speaks to the NAACP. (EPA/BRIAN BLANCO)

In a speech to the NAACP, Attorney General Eric Holder said that Trayvon Martin's death brought him back to his own experiences as a young black man and inspired him to sit down his own son to discuss racial issues.

Twice, Holder said, he was pulled over on the New Jersey Turnpike and had his car searched "when I’m sure I wasn't speeding." Another time, he was stopped by police "while simply running to a catch a movie, at night in Georgetown.

"I was at the time of that last incident a federal prosecutor," Holder said to laughs from the audience.

"Years ago, some of these same issues drove my father to sit down with me to have a conversation – which is no doubt familiar to many of you – about how as a young black man I should interact with the police, what to say, and how to conduct myself if I was ever stopped or confronted in a way I thought was unwarranted," Holder said. "I’m sure my father felt certain at the time that my parents’ generation would be the last that had to worry about such things for their children."

Instead, he said, he found himself in the wake of the shooting having a similar conversation with his own 15-year-old son, "to make him aware of the world he must still confront."

In the same speech, Holder condemned "Stand Your Ground" laws, saying that they have resulted in the deaths of too many innocent people.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.



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