Blog of Rights

Police Shouldn't Just Film Themselves Being Santa's Helpers

Police Shouldn't Just Film Themselves Being Santa's Helpers

By Micah McCoy, ACLU of New Mexico at 4:47pm
You may have seen the viral video making the rounds on social media: a millionaire "Secret Santa" donated $100,000 to the sheriff's department in Jackson County, Missouri, to hand out to the less fortunate in the community. The generous donor said that this year, he wanted to give law enforcement officers an opportunity to have a positive interaction with members of the community they serve. In the video, officers record the encounters in which they seek out people in run-down cars, homeless people, and other folks who look down on their luck. Instead of giving them a ticket, they give them a thousand dollars!
Photo of police standing with batons

Police Need to Make Body-Camera Policies Transparent

By Sonia Roubini, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 3:00pm

Body cameras are a hot topic these days in the wake of the Ferguson and Eric Garner controversies, as well as President Obama’s announcement that he will seek $75 million in funding for police body cameras and training. Body cameras are an important…

Detained for the Holidays

Detained for the Holidays

By Michael Tan, Staff Attorney, Immigrants' Rights Project, ACLU at 10:44am

This fall, Zadia* and her son Jose* came to the United States to escape years of physical abuse by her common-law husband. With the help of members of their church, Zadia and Jose fled Honduras. But rather than find refuge, they have been locked up…

Harrowing Tales of the Wrongly Deported: How Border Patrol Officers Flout the Law and Destroy Lives

Harrowing Tales of the Wrongly Deported: How Border Patrol Officers Flout the Law and Destroy Lives

By Sarah Mehta, Researcher, ACLU Human Rights Program at 10:40am

This was originally posted on The American Prospect.

In 2008, Nydia, a transgender woman, fled physical and sexual attacks in Mexico and was granted asylum in the United States. She was saving money to apply for lawful permanent residence (a…

Shakedown: Border Patrol’s “Confiscation” of Migrants’ Money, IDs, Cellphones Exposes Them to Danger After Deportation

Shakedown: Border Patrol’s “Confiscation” of Migrants’ Money, IDs, Cellphones Exposes Them to Danger After Deportation

By James Lyall, Border Litigation Staff Attorney, ACLU of Arizona at 4:42pm

One of the cornerstones of American law is the right to property. That protection, however, doesn't seem to apply if you're a migrant.

A report released this week by the Tucson-based humanitarian organization No More Deaths details the Border…

Stepping Out of the Shadows

Stepping Out of the Shadows

By Deisy Hernandez, Outreach Coordinator, ACLU of Nevada at 9:35am

My mother, Estela, and I arrived in the United States in 1988. I was two years old as she carried me in her arms across the Mexico-U.S. border. I was too young to understand what was happening, but my mom has told me many times why we left.

Before…

A Dangerous Precedent: Why Allow Racial Profiling at or Near the Border?

A Dangerous Precedent: Why Allow Racial Profiling at or Near the Border?

By Chris Rickerd, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:11pm

At a moment when the federal government is taking racial profiling seriously, it was gratifying to read that Attorney General Eric Holder "told colleagues that he believed that border agents did not need to consider race or ethnicity." Racial profiling…

A Tale of Two Immigrant Detainees

A Tale of Two Immigrant Detainees

By Sophia Yapalater, ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project at 12:28pm

In many ways, Mark and Richard led parallel lives. Both men came to the United States as young children, Mark from South Korea and Richard from Jamaica. They both had status as legal permanent residents, attended school, and put down roots in their…

Aquellos que Obama dejó olvidados – y deportó sin una oportunidad de ser escuchados

Aquellos que Obama dejó olvidados – y deportó sin una oportunidad de ser escuchados

By Sarah Mehta, Researcher, ACLU Human Rights Program at 1:34pm

Nydia ya tenía asilo en los Estados Unidos cuando fue deportada dos veces por agentes fronterizos de nuevo al peligro del cual ella huyó. Nydia, una mujer transgénero de México, dijo a los oficiales que ella tenía estatus y que había sido violada…

Image of Lady Justice on camcorder screen

The System, Caught On Tape

By Peter Bibring, Director of Police Practices for the ACLU of Southern California at 12:15pm

Yesterday’s decision by a Staten Island grand jury not to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo for having killed Eric Garner using a chokehold during an arrest for selling untaxed cigarettes has sparked enormous outcry and frustration. Garner’s…