DOJ Issues New Guidance on Policing Protests

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.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.