Blog of Rights

Photo of a police traffic stop

Police Officer Discretion in the Use of Body Worn Cameras

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:30pm
In our October 2013 policy white paper on police body cameras, we struggled with how to ensure that the cameras would serve as an effective oversight mechanism for police while not unduly invading privacy. We pointed out that purely from an oversight standpoint, putting aside all other considerations, the ideal policy would be for officers’ cameras to run throughout their entire shift, which would guarantee that an officer could not evade detection while engaging in abuse. But as we discussed, it’s not possible to put aside all other considerations, including the privacy of the public and of officers.
For Some Families Fleeing Violence, a Shot at a Fair Shake

For Some Families Fleeing Violence, a Shot at a Fair Shake

By Daniel Galindo at 4:56pm

When I met Milagro* and her two toddlers just a few months ago, they were locked up in a makeshift federal detention facility in the desert of Artesia, New Mexico, awaiting imminent deportation to Honduras – a near certain death sentence in light…

This Bill Is Mandating Perfect Border Security, Using Your Tax Dollars, Without a Plan.

This Bill Is Mandating Perfect Border Security, Using Your Tax Dollars, Without a Plan.

By Chris Rickerd, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 9:55am

Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, last year proposed a logical approach to border security: In rejecting measures to put the "cart" of border spending before the "horse" of measuring what resources are needed, he introduced…

Business as Usual: House Leadership Uses DHS Spending Bill to Try to Kill President’s Executive Action on Immigration

Business as Usual: House Leadership Uses DHS Spending Bill to Try to Kill President’s Executive Action on Immigration

By Joanne Lin, Washington Legislative Office at 5:16pm

There is already a clear picture of the House majority's agenda – block the immigration executive actions announced last November by President Barack Obama.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a spending bill to…

Photo of police officer speaking to civilian

Should Officers Be Permitted to View Body Camera Footage Before Writing Their Reports?

By Peter Bibring, Director of Police Practices for the ACLU of Southern California & Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:14pm

Update below

A police officer wearing a body camera shoots a civilian. Afterwards, the officer has to write up a report about the incident. Should the officer be able to view the footage captured by his body camera (or other cameras) before…

My Name Is Magaly: Community Leader, Homeowner, Taxpayer, and Undocumented Mother

My Name Is Magaly: Community Leader, Homeowner, Taxpayer, and Undocumented Mother

By Magaly at 2:59pm

I was 23 years old when I crossed the U.S.-Mexico border with my husband, aunt, and cousin.

Before we came to the United States, we lived in a community in Veracruz. My husband was in the Mexican Army, but the money he made was not enough to…

Why is Immigration & Customs Enforcement Still Fighting For Its Runaway Detainer Regime?

Why is Immigration & Customs Enforcement Still Fighting For Its Runaway Detainer Regime?

By Kate Desormeau, ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project at 5:13pm

Ada Morales, a long-time resident of Rhode Island, became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1995. Yet in 2009, when she was arrested by Rhode Island authorities for an unrelated state charge, Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued an immigration hold,…

Bait-and-Switch: As One Family Detention Center Closes, Another Opens

Bait-and-Switch: As One Family Detention Center Closes, Another Opens

By Andrea L. Alford, Media Strategist, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:00pm

When we arrived at the U.S. border, I felt relieved because I thought we were finally safe. But immigration officials took my daughter and me to a place out in the middle of nothing in Artesia, New Mexico, where we were housed in trailers surrounded…

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…

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…