Tag Archives: civil rights

Civil rights and religious leaders urge African Americans to defy governors’ efforts to reopen businesses

A coalition of prominent civil rights and black religious leaders is urging African American residents who live in states that are moving swiftly to reopen their economies to stay home in defiance of governors until there’s evidence the coronavirus outbreak has eased.

The group, convened by the Conference of National Black Churches and Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, said some governors are demonstrating “reckless disregard for the health and life of black residents” and called for black churches and businesses to remain closed in those states until there’s evidence that it’s safe to resume more normal activity.

“We do not take it lightly to encourage members of our communities to defy the orders of state governors,” the officials said in a statement. “Our sacred duty is to support and advance the life and health of Black people, families and communities in our country.”

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Civil rights groups sue Oakland County Jail for immediate release of people during pandemic

Advocates warn outbreak is imminent inside county jail

OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. – On Friday, several civil rights and racial justice groups filed a federal lawsuit calling for the release of medically vulnerable people inside the Oakland County Jail, arguing that county officials are risking the lives of everyone inside and the community at large.

Naming Oakland County, its Sheriff, Michael Bouchard, and Commander of Corrective Services Curtis D. Childs, the lawsuit filed by Advancement Project National Office, American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan (ACLU), Civil Rights Corps (CRC), LaRene & Kriger P.L.C. and the Law Firm of Pitt, McGhee, Palmer and Rivers in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, argues that Oakland County officials are violating the constitutional rights of people in the jail by exposing them to an unnecessary risk of infection, illness or death during the coronavirus pandemic.

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ACLU-MN lawsuit claims ICE illegally held Minnesota man, U.S. citizen for 11 months

ST. PAUL — The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota is suing the federal government for holding a U.S. citizen living in Minnesota in Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) custody for 11 months.

According to a Thursday, March 26, news release from the nonpartisan litigating group, Ali Abdalla sought refuge in the United States from Somalia, and was granted citizenship in 2003. Fourteen years later in 2017, ICE arrested him and threatened deportation despite Abdalla’s citizenship status.

ACLU-MN alleges that ICE broke the law by holding Abdalla for 11 months in three different jails, and never properly investigating whether he was a citizen. They also allege that one Minnesota county jail failed to give Abdalla his necessary anxiety medication, causing additional distress.

ACLU-MN claims immigration officials violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution, and falsely arrested and imprisoned Abdalla. The lawsuit says that what happened to Abdalla was a “consequence of official policies, patterns, practices, and customs that manifest not only intentional discrimination based on race, ethnicity, and religion as well as disregard of basic principles of due process, but also a reckless disregard for human life and liberty.”

While he was in detention, the ACLU-MN said an immigration judge ruled that Abdalla was a citizen and moved to terminate his removal proceedings. But ICE appealed the ruling and held onto Abdalla for five more months.

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ACLU questions Rhode Island cops stopping NY cars

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island is questioning the constitutionality of Gov. Gina Raimondo’s directive allowing state police to stop vehicles with New York license plates.

The Democratic governor on Thursday called the measure extreme but pointed out New York City is the epicenter of the disease in the United States.

Steven Brown, executive director of the ACLU of Rhode Island, says while Raimondo has the authority to suspend some state laws and regulations to address a medical emergency, she cannot suspend the Constitution.

He says under the Fourth Amendment, having a New York state license plate “simply does not, and cannot, constitute ‘probable cause’ to allow police to stop a car and interrogate the driver, no matter how laudable the goal of the stop may be.”

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