Blog of Rights

I Was Arrested for Learning a Foreign Language. Today, I Have Some Closure.

I Was Arrested for Learning a Foreign Language. Today, I Have Some Closure.

By Nick George at 11:14am
Five years ago, the Philadelphia police thought that carrying Arabic-language flashcards was enough to warrant the arrest of an innocent traveler. A settlement reached today in a lawsuit I brought against the police department makes it clear that it is not.
'You’re Not Wrong, You're Just an A**hole'

'You’re Not Wrong, You're Just an A**hole'

By Esha Bhandari, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 12:30pm

The Washington Redskins is a name that is offensive and perpetuates racism against Native Americans. Should it be changed? Yes. But should the government get to make that call? As we told a federal district court yesterday, the answer is no, because…

Eight Police Officers Fired 46 Times at My Mentally Ill Son for Holding a Pen Knife

Eight Police Officers Fired 46 Times at My Mentally Ill Son for Holding a Pen Knife

By Jewel Hall at 5:05pm

The following is an excerpt from an interview with Jewel Hall conducted by the ACLU of Michigan about the killing in 2012 of her son Milton by eight police officers. Parts of her interview appear in the video below, which also includes footage of the…

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…

There Is No Police Exception to the Americans With Disabilities Act

There Is No Police Exception to the Americans With Disabilities Act

By Susan Mizner, Disability Counsel, ACLU at 4:47pm

Many people recognize the names Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Tamir Rice, African-American men, and a child, killed by the police.

Less well known are the names Milton Hall, James Boyd, Ezell Ford, Kajieme Powell, and Tanisha Anderson.

They…

Sorry Mr. Mayor, But Atheists Have Rights, Too

Sorry Mr. Mayor, But Atheists Have Rights, Too

By Carrie Ellen Sager, PFRB Legal Fellow, ACLU at 12:18pm

They say you can't fight city hall, but sometimes there's no other choice.

The residents of Warren, Michigan, visit their city hall on a regular basis to pay taxes, to vote, and to visit the library branch and the farmers market that are located…

Father of Mike Brown: "If I Could Have Stood Between Officer Wilson’s Gun and My Son, I Would Have."

Father of Mike Brown: "If I Could Have Stood Between Officer Wilson’s Gun and My Son, I Would Have."

The parents of Michael Brown – the black teenager killed by a police officer while walking, unarmed, in Ferguson, Missouri this summer – are in Geneva this week, as a United Nations committee reviews the United States' compliance with the Convention…

To Terrify and Occupy

To Terrify and Occupy

By Matthew Harwood, Media Strategist, ACLU at 9:59am

This piece originally ran on TomDispatch and was completed before Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo. Police, rather than keeping the peace, have reacted to largely peaceful protests demanding…

closeup of camera lens

Body-Worn Cameras Should Not Expand Beyond Law Enforcement

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:34pm

The Guardian reported last week that Miami Beach is planning on expanding the use of body cameras beyond the police to include “meter maids,” code enforcement officers, and building and fire inspectors. This use of the technology does not make…

Sharing this picture in Arizona could get you thrown in jail [photos of baby]

Arizona’s Naked Photo Law Makes Free Speech a Felony

By Lee Rowland, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:24pm

Which of the following could land you a felony conviction in Arizona?

Showing images of naked prisoners tortured at Abu Ghraib; Linking to the iconic Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of “Napalm Girl,” showing an unclothed Vietnamese…