Blog of Rights

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...

An Evening Stroll, a Volley of Fire: A Senseless Death in Mexico

An Evening Stroll, a Volley of Fire: A Senseless Death in Mexico

By Mitra Ebadolahi, Border Litigation Staff Attorney, ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties at 11:00am

On the night of October 10, 2012, U.S. Border Patrol agents shot and killed Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez. At the time of the shooting, Jose Antonio was unarmed and walking peacefully down a major street in Nogales, Mexico, directly across from the…

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…

Why Mass Incarceration Really is the New Jim Crow

Why Mass Incarceration Really is the New Jim Crow

By Inimai Chettiar, ACLU at 3:41pm

Black Americans are twice as likely to be arrested during a traffic stop and nearly four times as likely to experience the threat or use of force.

Supreme Court Decision Could Be Crucial to Protecting Domestic Violence Survivors

Supreme Court Decision Could Be Crucial to Protecting Domestic Violence Survivors

By Michaela Wallin, Women's Rights Project, ACLU at 9:59am

In 1999, Tiffani Alvera was violently assaulted by her husband in their Oregon home and had to be hospitalized. After she provided a copy of the restraining order she obtained to her property manager, her landlord ordered her to vacate the apartment…

Author Shoshana Hebshi

Two And A Half Years After Being Racially Profiled, A First Victory

By Shoshana Hebshi, ACLU Plaintiff at 12:29pm

More than two years ago, on September 11, 2011, I was stuck on a grounded airplane in Detroit. At first I thought we were just waiting for our gate to clear, but then our plane taxied to an isolated part of the tarmac. Police vehicles appeared, and…

An Open Letter to the President on Race

An Open Letter to the President on Race

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:07am

Dear Mr. President,

Do you remember any of your campaign ads from your 2000 Congressional campaign? I'm thinking specifically of a radio ad touting your support for a bill that required police officers to log the ethnicity of every driver they…

Want to Restore Fairness to the Criminal Justice System? End Racial Profiling

Want to Restore Fairness to the Criminal Justice System? End Racial Profiling

By Alex Berger, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 3:35pm

Just over a year ago, the Senate Judiciary Committee held its first hearing on racial profiling in over a decade on the heels of the murder of 17-year-old Florida resident Trayvon Martin.

His death gave a face to the terrible practice of racial…

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…

Integrated classroom. Photo: Warren K. Leffler

Mary Frances Berry: 60 Years After Brown, "The students didn't fail us; we failed the students."

By Matthew Harwood, Media Strategist, ACLU at 1:30pm

Within a minute or two of speaking with Mary Frances Berry, you first hear the crackle of enthusiasm and then you notice the matter-of-fact way she can describe something awful, like police intimidation in the South, and chuckle, seemingly at the absurdity…