POLITICS

Eric Holder: U.S. Malls Should 'Step Up' Security

02/27/2015 08:00 am ET | Updated Apr 29, 2015

WASHINGTON, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Shopping mall operators need to increase security through more staff, cameras and other techniques in light of threats made against the Mall of America in Minnesota and other shopping centers by Somali-based Islamist militants this week, outgoing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said.

"I certainly think we have to step up our sensitivities to what goes on in these commercial enterprises," Holder said in an interview with CNN that aired on Friday. "It would be the responsible thing for operators of these malls to increase their capabilities when it comes to keeping people safe who are just going about their everyday lives."

In a separate interview with Politico, also published on Friday, Holder said he would push in his final weeks in office to lower the standard of proof for civil-rights offenses that would make it easier for the federal government to bring charges in future cases.

The Justice Department recently closed its investigation into the shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, without filing charges against gunman George Zimmerman because of "insufficient evidence."

"I think that if we adjust those standards, we can make the federal government a better backstop - make us more a part of the process in an appropriate way to reassure the American people that decisions are made by people who are really disinterested," he told Politico.

The Senate is expected to confirm Loretta Lynch, his successor, next month.

(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Susan Heavey)

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