Blog of Rights

Racial Profiling Is Ineffective, Distracting, and Detrimental to Public Safety

By Jasmine Elliott, Washington Legislative Office at 2:16pm
Racial profiling is "a sloppy, lazy substitute" for actual policing, said Professor Deborah Ramirez from Northeastern University School of Law, at a House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties hearing called "Racial Profiling and the Use of Suspect Classifications in Law Enforcement." The witnesses at the hearing represented many different organizations and fields, like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Sikh Coalition, Muslim Advocates, police officers, and professors. This diverse group of experts agreed on the following key points:
Crop of image by Arlo Bates via Flickr

When Big Data Becomes a Civil Rights Problem

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:06am

My colleague Jay Stanley just wrote about an invasive new police tactic employed by the Chicago Police Department. Using software created by an engineer at the Illinois Institute of Technology, the city developed a “’heat list’ — an index of…

50 Years after the Dream: Why Are We Filling our Jails with Kids of Color?

50 Years after the Dream: Why Are We Filling our Jails with Kids of Color?

By Mishi Faruqee, Juvenile Justice Policy Strategist, ACLU at 2:22pm

This week, fifty years after the March on Washington, President Obama stood on the National Mall and listed out some of the unfinished business of the civil rights movement. High up on the list: not letting our criminal justice system become "simply…

Drug-Testing Welfare Recipients: A Trend with No Traction

By Rachel Bloom, ACLU at 4:26pm

Two months into the state legislative session, not a single welfare drug testing bill has passed into law.

Three Faces of Racial Profiling: Profiling Communities is Bad Law Enforcement

Three Faces of Racial Profiling: Profiling Communities is Bad Law Enforcement

By Michael German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:46pm

A new ACLU website, "Mapping the FBI" exposes the bureau's nationwide racial and ethnic mapping program.

An Unexpected Reaction: Why a Science Experiment Gone Bad Doesn't Make Me a Criminal

An Unexpected Reaction: Why a Science Experiment Gone Bad Doesn't Make Me a Criminal

By Kiera Wilmot, Student at 10:17am

After model student Kiera Wilmot was arrested and removed from her high school for doing a science experiment on school property...

Being Poor Is Not a Crime

Being Poor Is Not a Crime

By Rachel Bloom, ACLU at 1:25pm

June 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of President Richard Nixon's declaration of a "war on drugs" — a war that has cost roughly a trillion dollars, has produced little to no effect on the supply of or demand for drugs in the United…

Told You So: Florida's New Drug Testing Policy Already Costing Taxpayers More

Told You So: Florida's New Drug Testing Policy Already Costing Taxpayers More

By Rachel Bloom, ACLU at 5:57pm

We've told you a few times about Florida's horrible new law that drug tests all families applying for cash benefit welfare applicants. The law, which went into effect July 1, makes applicants front the cost of the drug test and reimburses individuals…

Prison as Punishment, Not for Punishment

By Rachel Bloom, ACLU at 3:43pm

No one wants to go to prison, but there's one particular prison in Idaho that's especially feared. Why? According to the Associated Press, over the past two years, more prisoner-on-prisoner assaults have occurred at this specific prison —…

Settlement Means No More Highway Robbery in Tenaha, Texas

Settlement Means No More Highway Robbery in Tenaha, Texas

By Elora Mukherjee, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 11:22am

On Friday, the ACLU settled a class action lawsuit, pending court approval, against officials in the East Texas town of Tenaha and Shelby County over the rampant practice of stopping and searching drivers, almost always Black or Latino, and often seizing…