Mpls. one of six cities chosen for pilot program spurred by Ferguson shooting

Minneapolis police chief Janee Harteau
Police Chief Janee Harteau, Jan 15, 2015.
Brandt Williams | MPR News file

Six cities have been chosen for a federal pilot program aimed at reducing racial bias and improving relationships between law enforcement and communities.

They are Fort Worth, Texas; Gary, Indiana; Stockton, California; Birmingham, Alabama; Minneapolis; and Pittsburgh.

Attorney General Eric Holder identified the cities on Thursday, six months after announcing the initiative in the aftermath of the Ferguson, Missouri, police shooting.

"I firmly believe we were chosen because of our commitment to forward-thinking, community policing and this new avenue of input will improve and advance the programs we've already put in place," Minneapolis Police Chief Jane&eactue; Harteau said in a statement. "It will also provide us with new ideas and strategies for resident engagement."

As part of the project, researchers will study data and conduct interviews in pilot communities to develop plans for curbing bias and strategies for building trust between residents and law enforcement.

The Justice Department last week issued a scathing report about Ferguson's criminal justice system, calling out a slew of discriminatory policing practices.

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