Blog of Rights

Eight Police Officers Fired 46 Times at My Mentally Ill Son for Holding a Pen Knife

Eight Police Officers Fired 46 Times at My Mentally Ill Son for Holding a Pen Knife

By Jewel Hall at 5:05pm
The following is an excerpt from an interview with Jewel Hall conducted by the ACLU of Michigan about the killing in 2012 of her son Milton by eight police officers. Parts of her interview appear in the video below, which also includes footage of the police killing Milton. Today the ACLU of Michigan is presenting this video at a hearing about racial disparities in the U.S. criminal justice system before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which is part of the Organization of American States. The county prosecutor declined to bring charges against the officers involved, and earlier this year, the Department of Justice also declined to bring charges against them. The interview has been lightly edited for clarity.
For-Profit Companies Are Helping to Put People In Jail for Being Poor. I Should Know, I Was One of Them.

For-Profit Companies Are Helping to Put People In Jail for Being Poor. I Should Know, I Was One of Them.

By Kevin Thompson at 10:50am

In December, I was jailed for five days simply because I couldn't afford to pay $838 in traffic fines and fees to DeKalb County and a private probation company called Judicial Correction Services, Inc.

It sounds unbelievable, but that's exactly…

Father of Mike Brown: "If I Could Have Stood Between Officer Wilson’s Gun and My Son, I Would Have."

Father of Mike Brown: "If I Could Have Stood Between Officer Wilson’s Gun and My Son, I Would Have."

The parents of Michael Brown – the black teenager killed by a police officer while walking, unarmed, in Ferguson, Missouri this summer – are in Geneva this week, as a United Nations committee reviews the United States' compliance with the Convention…

Ferguson Police's PR Stunt Poisons Independent and Impartial Investigation

Ferguson Police's PR Stunt Poisons Independent and Impartial Investigation

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 6:23pm

The tragic killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson Police Department has shocked his family, community, and the nation.

The public and the ACLU of Missouri have called for release of the police incident…

Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin

Parents of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis Share Their Loss at the United Nations

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 12:43pm

Sitting in meetings in the United Nation's ornate Wilson Palace by the shores of Lake Geneva in the shadow of the Alps seems an odd place to discuss racial discrimination in the United States.

But the problems of racial discrimination quickly…

Why Are These Indian Children Being Torn Away From Their Homes?

Why Are These Indian Children Being Torn Away From Their Homes?

By Stephen Pevar, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU at 10:19am

Imagine entering family court and knowing that what's at stake is the person you hold most dear – your child. Now imagine having a judge tell you that he's removing your child from your custody, from your home. When you ask him why, the judge's replies,…

After Ferguson, U.N. Calls on U.S. to Get Its Act Together on Race Discrimination

After Ferguson, U.N. Calls on U.S. to Get Its Act Together on Race Discrimination

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 3:06pm

In the last several weeks, the state of Missouri has captured news headlines around the globe: first, with reports coming out of Ferguson of yet another unarmed African-American young man shot and killed by police, and then with accounts of a violent…

Krystin Polk (L) and her mother, Krystal (R)

How a Special Needs Kid Gets Handcuffed and Thrown in Jail "For Her Own Good"

By Carmel Ferrer at 10:55am

Like nearly half of children with autism spectrum disorder, Krystin Polk regularly attempts to wander from supervised, safe places such as her home or school.

The 13-year-old is enrolled at the Magnolia School for special education students…

Why Should This Matter More Than This

We're All Losers After the Supreme Court's Decision in Schuette

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 10:35am

There are many individuals and groups in Michigan who lost as a result of yesterday's United States Supreme Court decision in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action.

Schuette is widely misunderstood as being a case about affirmative…

Groups march near the Staples Center, Los Angeles, to protest Donald Sterling.

Why Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy Are Not the Problem

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 2:20pm

In her heartfelt dissent in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, which upheld a Michigan ballot initiative forbidding schools from considering race as one factor in admitting students, Justice Sonya Sotomayor wrote "the way to stop discrimination…