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Minneapolis chosen for pilot aimed at improving police-community race relations

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Minneapolis will play an important role in the U.S. Justice Department's effort to improve relations between police and the people they protect in communities across the nation.

In remarks made in Washington, D.C. today, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that Minneapolis would be one of six cities in the new National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice.

Holder described it as a pilot program whose mission is to "resolve long-standing tensions between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve."

The initiative will make use of research and interviews to develop strategies aimed at reducing racial bias in police-resident relations, according to the Associated Press.

The Minneapolis Police Department has been under recent criticism for what has been described as cultural problems, which some say have damaged its rapport with many residents.

Justice Department audit of MPD did find improvements, but said there was still work to do – one of the report's recommendations was that the department strengthen its "relationships with communities of color."

The Trust and Justice initiative was devised as a response to the turmoil in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, according to a speech Holder made in September.

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