Police Practice Issues The ACLU of Rhode Island is Involved With - Court Cases, Legislation, News Releases

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Protecting Civil Liberties in Rhode Island for Over 50 Years

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Police Practices

Police play an important role in working to protect and serve the public, yet abuses of police power continue to be a problem in Rhode Island and nationwide, particularly in low-income communities and in communities of color.  Years of traffic stop data in Rhode Island have demonstrated consistently that black and Hispanic drivers are twice as likely as white drivers to be stopped by police and searched, while white drivers are more likely to be found with contraband when searched.  The ACLU of Rhode Island has worked for many years as a part of a diverse coalition to advocate for the passage of comprehensive legislation to prevent racial profilingThe ACLU also works on various other police misconduct issues, such as those surrounding stop-and-frisk tactics, surveillance, brutality, and the withholding of public police records from citizens.

The ACLU of Rhode Island recently released a report, "The School-To-Prison Pipeline In Black And White," offers a brief but systematic examination of racial disparities in Rhode Island, and how those interconnected disparities can lead to a lifetime of unequal treatment. The report highlights numerous disparities, including those in traffic stop and search rates and arrest rates.

Police Misconduct in the News

  • Mar, 02, 2018: ACLU of Rhode Island Raises Red Flags Over “Red Flag” Gun Legislation
  • Feb, 02, 2018: ACLU Statement on Grand Jury Finding in Fatal Police Shooting of Joseph Santos
  • Jan, 24, 2018: Groups Ask U.S. Attorney to Investigate Police Policies Governing Communication with the Deaf

View All News Releases Related to Police Misconduct »

Police Misconduct Related Court Cases

2017: Lacoste v. RI State Police
Category: Active Case    Due Process    Fair Administration of Justice    Open Government    Police Practices    

 

About This Case:
This is a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the RI State Police for abusing their power by retaliating against a Warwick resident who declined to serve as an informant for the agency in an ongoing criminal investigation. The lawsuit argues that RISP relied on a dubious state law to bar the plaintiff from continuing to work at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln when she bowed out of assisting RISP as an informant.

Current Status:
Suit filed in November 2017.

ACLU Cooperating Attorney:
James W. Musgrave

Supporting Documents
2017: Brady v. Tamburini
Category: Active Case    Fair Administration of Justice    Free Speech    Open Government    Police Practices    Workplace Rights    

About This Case:
This is a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the Johnston Police Department on behalf of retired Detective James Brady, an 18-year veteran of the force.  The suit argues that Johnston Police Chief Richard Tamburini violated Brady’s free speech rights by disciplining him after he spoke to the news media about a matter of public concern.

Current Status:
Suit filed in October 2017.

ACLU Cooperating Attorney:
John W. Dineen

Supporting Documents

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