Durham, North Carolina
A Resolution by the City Council of the City of Durham Regarding the Protection of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
WHEREAS, the City of Durham is committed to the human rights of its residents and to actions that preserve and protect those rights; and
WHEREAS, the City of Durham is home to a diverse population, including students, working people, and non-citizens, whose contributions to the community are vital to its character and function; and
WHEREAS, the City of Durham is committed to upholding the civil rights and civil liberties of all persons in Durham and their free exercise and enjoyment of any and all rights and privileges secured by the Constitutions and the laws of the United States and the State of North Carolina; and
WHEREAS, actions taken by the federal government, including the adoption of sections of the USA Patriot Act and several Executive Orders, now threaten those fundamental rights and liberties, including freedom of speech, assembly and privacy; the right to counsel and due process in judicial proceedings; and protection from unreasonable searches and seizures, all of which are guaranteed by the Constitutions of North Carolina and the United States; and
WHEREAS, the Executive Branch of the United States government has drafted a “”Domestic Security Enhancement Act”” (also known as the “”USA Patriot Act II””), which would further undermine those rights and liberties by expanding the government’s surveillance authority; by allowing the sharing of sensitive personal information with local and state law enforcement agencies without consent or judicial process; and by authorizing secret arrests and detentions of persons not criminally charged.
NOW, THEREFORE, the City Council of the City of Durham hereby resolves that:
State and federal legislative delegations are encouraged to monitor the implementation of the USA Patriot Act and the Executive Orders cited herein and to work actively for the repeal of those portions of the Act and those Orders that violate the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitutions of North Carolina and the United States;
State and federal legislative delegations are encouraged to work actively against adoption of the Domestic Security Enhancement Act cited herein and against any legislation or Executive Order that would undermine residents’ fundamental rights and liberties;
Federal and state law enforcement officials acting within the City of Durham are encouraged to work in accordance with the policies and procedures of, and in cooperation with, local law enforcement and to not engage in racial profiling or permit detentions without charges.
The City Clerk forward this resolution to state and federal legislative delegations on behalf of the City of Durham and its residents.
Every month, you'll receive regular roundups of the most important civil rights and civil liberties developments. Remember: a well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.