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US faces questions as racially charged cases mount

Protesters stand in Foley Square in New York on December 4, 2014 during a demonstrationThe case files are piling up — young black men killed by white police officers who later go uncharged — as are questions about what the US government will do about it. Names like Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner are now chapters in the long saga of tense and often violent relations between America’s black community and mainly white police forces. In a bid to reassure African Americans that something is being done, Attorney General Eric Holder, who is black, acknowledged Thursday that excessive force is routinely used by police in Cleveland, Ohio. On Wednesday, after a grand jury said it would not indict a white New York cop for choking 43-year-old father of six Garner to death during an arrest, the top US law enforcement official announced a federal civil rights investigation of the case.

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