Blog of Rights

"The Constitution Was Written for Everyone, Not Just for People Who Make $100,000 a Year"

"The Constitution Was Written for Everyone, Not Just for People Who Make $100,000 a Year"

By Ujala Sehgal, Deputy Communications Director, New York Civil Liberties Union at 5:23pm
You may not have heard of the lawsuit Hurrell-Harring v. New York, but you've probably heard of your "right to an attorney" as an American.
Jail Doesn't Help Addicts. Let's Stop Sending Them There.

Jail Doesn't Help Addicts. Let's Stop Sending Them There.

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 11:17am

Misti Barrickman has scoliosis. Since she was a teenager, it's been debilitating. It hurt to lie down. It hurt to stand up.

She started taking Oxycontin to help with the pain and became addicted. She came to Seattle to find large quantities…

Boston Police Have a Racially Biased Policing Problem, and a Golden Opportunity to Reform

Boston Police Have a Racially Biased Policing Problem, and a Golden Opportunity to Reform

By Nusrat Choudhury, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 12:22pm

During the summer of 2011, then-19-year-old Ivan Richiez was robbed at gunpoint and pistol-whipped by two men in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston. Bruised and bloodied, Ivan walked home passed the local Boston Police Department (BPD) precinct.…

How Many People Must Be Maimed or Killed Before We End the Militarization of Our Police Forces?

How Many People Must Be Maimed or Killed Before We End the Militarization of Our Police Forces?

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 4:59pm

Yesterday, a grand jury in Habersham County, Georgia, decided not to bring charges against the police officers who threw a flashbang grenade into the crib of Bounkham Phonesavanh, known affectionately as "Baby Bou Bou." The explosion left a hole in…

Spotted on Campus: Up-Armored Mine-Resistant Monster Trucks

Spotted on Campus: Up-Armored Mine-Resistant Monster Trucks

By Samuel Weiss at 1:05pm

With the cost of tuition skyrocketing, you may be wondering why universities are getting mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles – or MRAPs ­– which are designed for the battlefield and cost $700,000.

The answer is simple: They don't…

For One Young Black Man in Newark, 'The Talk' was about Police

For One Young Black Man in Newark, 'The Talk' was about Police

By Michael Hobbs at 3:37pm

This piece was originally published on NJ.com.

When I was 14, my grandfather sat me down for "the talk" – not the birds and the bees, but "the billy clubs and the bullets."

I brushed him off. I thought that in my majority-black hometown…

Three Years in a Cage. No Charges and No Lawyer.

Three Years in a Cage. No Charges and No Lawyer.

By Brandon Buskey, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 1:01pm

Octavious Burks has been waiting for 10 months.

He's locked in a jail in Scott County, Mississippi. He hasn't been formally charged. He hasn't been assigned an attorney.

This is a recurring nightmare for Octavious: The same thing happened…

Do Cops Really Need Tanks to Keep Us Safe?

Do Cops Really Need Tanks to Keep Us Safe?

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 3:11pm

This piece was originally published on The Crime Report.

The militarized law enforcement response to peaceful protests over the killing of an unarmed black man in Ferguson, Mo. last month, has prompted several federal officials to question…

A Taxicab Confession for a Post-Ferguson America

A Taxicab Confession for a Post-Ferguson America

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 4:33pm

I had just finished a conversation with a local reporter comparing the events in Ferguson, Missouri with the disproportionate arrests of black people in Shreveport, Louisiana, for nonviolent offenses, when I noticed the driver had taken an interest…

Still from Rodney King beating video

The Video Revolution in Policing

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:39pm

We may have reached the point where video technology is producing a full-fledged revolution in policing. That revolution has been crystalized, or at least revealed by, the events in Ferguson.

The first element of that revolution is a growing…