Blog of Rights

From the Fair Housing Act to Ferguson: Where You Live Impacts How You're Policed

From the Fair Housing Act to Ferguson: Where You Live Impacts How You're Policed

By Larry Schwartztol, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 1:08pm
In less than 24 hours, the Supreme Court will hear a case that will define the future of decades-old legal protections against discrimination by landlords and banks against renters and homebuyers. The decision could have far-reaching consequences for the battle against housing policies that discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, disability, and other protected characteristics. And that, in turn, would have profound implications for efforts to ensure fair and unbiased policing in places like Ferguson and New York City and throughout the country.
President Obama: Don’t Empower an Unaccountable and Violent Agency

President Obama: Don’t Empower an Unaccountable and Violent Agency

By Vicki B. Gaubeca, ACLU of New Mexico at 4:54pm

Which American police force had an officer arrested for misconduct almost every single day between 2005 and 2012?

Hint: It’s the same one that was responsible for at least 31 fatal encounters with private individuals since 2010, without a…

Movement for Racial Justice Runs Wide and Deep

Movement for Racial Justice Runs Wide and Deep

By Nusrat Choudhury, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 10:18am

“Everyone is aware of race. Dealing with racism is another matter,” said a keynote speaker at Facing Race 2014: A Multi-Racial, Intergenerational Gathering for Racial Justice Advocates.  I joined almost 1,600 people from across the United…

Boston Police Have a Racially Biased Policing Problem, and a Golden Opportunity to Reform

Boston Police Have a Racially Biased Policing Problem, and a Golden Opportunity to Reform

By Nusrat Choudhury, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 12:22pm

During the summer of 2011, then-19-year-old Ivan Richiez was robbed at gunpoint and pistol-whipped by two men in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston. Bruised and bloodied, Ivan walked home passed the local Boston Police Department (BPD) precinct.…

For the Poor, Every Arrest is a Gamble

For the Poor, Every Arrest is a Gamble

By Jennifer Carnig, New York Civil Liberties Union at 2:25pm

Homeless. Unemployed. Kids taken. Locked up. Guilty.

If you're rich like Lindsey Lohan, you can be charged with assault and let off the hook – all with the help of a highly paid, private lawyer. But if you're poor and accused of even the…

Whistleblower Says CBP Has Culture of Impunity and Violence

Whistleblower Says CBP Has Culture of Impunity and Violence

By Chris Rickerd, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:44pm

Yesterday the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) published what it described as "the most scathing public criticism ever lodged against Customs and Border Protection from a high-ranking official at the nation's largest law enforcement agency."

James…

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…

Photo of school lockers

Body Cameras on Police in Schools

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 2:04pm

We’re starting to get questions about the use of body cameras by “school resource officers,” a.k.a. police officers stationed in schools.

First of all, we don't think that police officers should be routinely present in schools at all.…

Poverty Is Not a Crime, Whether You Live in DeKalb County or Ferguson or Anywhere Else

Poverty Is Not a Crime, Whether You Live in DeKalb County or Ferguson or Anywhere Else

By Nusrat Choudhury, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 4:42pm

Kevin Thompson, a black teenager in Georgia, was jailed for five days in December 2014 because he could not afford to pay court-ordered fines and company fees related to a traffic ticket.

In January, the ACLU, the ACLU of Georgia, and the Southern…

Remembering the Sacrifices of Selma by Fulfilling its Promise

Remembering the Sacrifices of Selma by Fulfilling its Promise

By Dale Ho, Director, Voting Rights Project, ACLU at 12:14pm

On March 7 and 8, ACLU joined more than 80,000 Americans in Selma, Ala., to commemorate those who marched and risked their lives in Selma 50 years ago. Their bravery led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Being in this crowd commemorating…