Blog of Rights

Thanks to President Obama, My American Dream Won't Become a Nightmare

Thanks to President Obama, My American Dream Won't Become a Nightmare

By Anita Shalwani at 11:03am
This is my family's American Dream story. I am a divorced, single mother, and an undocumented immigrant. I have resided in the United States for almost 30 years.
U.S. Admits Modern-Day Slavery Exists at Home

U.S. Admits Modern-Day Slavery Exists at Home

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 1:08pm

Some of America's most vulnerable workers are victims of modern-day slavery, and the government knows it. What's worse: These workers are protecting U.S. military and economic interests – but the U.S. isn't protecting them.

In its annual…

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…

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…

An MRAP Is Not a Blanket

An MRAP Is Not a Blanket

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 4:41pm

This August, Americans watched in horror as the police descended on peaceful protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, as though they were going into battle. In May, a toddler named Bou Bou Phonesavanh had his chest ripped open and his face torn off by a flashbang…

Working to End Racial Profiling: ACLU to Testify Before Senate Judiciary

Working to End Racial Profiling: ACLU to Testify Before Senate Judiciary

By Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, ACLU at 2:24pm

Racial profiling is based on crass stereotypes and assumptions, instead of facts, evidence and good solid police work.

Detention Is No Place for Infants, Children, and Families

Detention Is No Place for Infants, Children, and Families

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 1:45pm

Just before she turned a month old, baby Darla* was released from the Berks family detention facility in Leesport, Pennsylvania. Darla and her mother had been in the custody of DHS since she was just 11 days old. And although Darla will now have the…

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…

Accountability vs. Privacy: The ACLU’s Recommendations on Police Body Cameras

Accountability vs. Privacy: The ACLU’s Recommendations on Police Body Cameras

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:00am

Today we’re releasing our policy recommendations on police “body cameras” (also called “on-officer recording systems” or “cop cams”), small cameras that clip on to an officer’s uniform and record audio and video of the officer’s interactions…

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…