Blog of Rights

Suzanne
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As Puerto Rico Police Chief Resigns, ACLU Calls on Congress to Act

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 6:44pm
Last Saturday, Puerto Rico police chief Jose Figueroa Sancha resigned. Sancha, who worked for the FBI for 23 years before becoming police chief in November 2008, is leaving the post in the midst of a crime wave and criticism of the department's use of excessive force by police on peaceful protestors, Dominican immigrants, and low-income and black Puerto Ricans, as we have extensively documented. Police have beaten, pepper-sprayed and tear-gassed student and labor protestors. The abuses are legion, and have been largely ignored by both the Puerto Rican and U.S. governments.

The Good and the Bad of the Warsame Case

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 4:57pm

First, the good: with today's news of charges being brought against terrorism suspect Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame in federal criminal court in New York, the Obama administration is acting on its Attorney General’s stated belief that our criminal…

Supreme Court Term Is Pro-Business and Pro-Free Speech

Supreme Court Term Is Pro-Business and Pro-Free Speech

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 2:22pm

The Supreme Court ended the 2010 term today, delivering the much-anticipated decision in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, a case that challenged California's ban of the sale of violent video games to minors. In a 7-2 decision, the …

Pulitzer Prize Winner on DREAMing of a Better Future for Children of Immigrants

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 5:34pm

Today's New York Times features an amazing, first-person account by journalist Jose Antonio Vargas about his life and career as an undocumented immigrant. Vargas writes about meeting the courageous students who have risked deportation by coming…

Sky-High Murder Rate in Puerto Rico Puts Police Under Scrutiny

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 2:28pm

Today's New York Times reports the sky-high murder rate in Puerto Rico has put the territory's police department — the second largest in the nation behind New York — under pressure to ramp up training and instruction, as well as coordination…

This Week in Civil Liberties

This Week in Civil Liberties

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 6:25pm

Despite all the distractions of the week (and by distractions, we mean that weird case of possible voter fraud—let's focus on civil liberties, people!) it was still a busy week here at the ACLU.

Today marks the 40th anniversary of…

New Report Reveals Ongoing Police Brutality and Abuse in Puerto Rico

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 12:49pm

A preliminary report released today by the ACLU's Human Rights Program shows a pattern of ongoing police brutality in Puerto Rico. We released this report in advance of President Obama's scheduled visit to the U.S. territory tomorrow.

Our…

President Obama: Address Police Brutality in Puerto Rico

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 4:02pm

Next Tuesday, President Obama will visit Puerto Rico.

We hope that during his time there, he'll address the ongoing First Amendment and human rights violations that the ACLU has been investigating and documenting since 2004. Over the last…

"If the Law Does Not Protect Jose Padilla . . . It Protects No One"

"If the Law Does Not Protect Jose Padilla . . . It Protects No One"

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 6:27pm

In February, a federal district court in South Carolina dismissed our lawsuit on behalf of American citizen Jose Padilla against Donald Rumsfeld and other current and former officials, saying the former Secretary of Defense was entitled to "qualified…

This Week in Civil Liberties

This Week in Civil Liberties

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 5:57pm

It's LGBT Pride month! We're celebrating with a weekly blog series featuring diverse voices from the LGBT community.

This month also reminds us of something definitely not worth celebrating: the War on Drugs, which turned 40 this year.…

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