WASHINGTON, D.C. – A D.C. federal court yesterday approved a settlement that obliges the WMATA Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD) to commission an independent expert to review the manner in which its police officers interact with juveniles. The settlement resolves litigation brought by the ACLU of the Nation’s Capital on behalf of a mother and her 14-year-old daughter alleging that an MTPD officer used excessive force against the young girl.
There are several upcoming opportunities to watch ACLU in court. These cases will be held in the United States Courthouse, located at 333 Constitution Avenue, NW. Please review the court rules here. Questions? Please contact us at 202-457-0800.
The Bipartisan Summit on Criminal Justice Reform was held on Thursday, March 26, 2015, at the Marriott Wardman Park. The Summit united leaders to discuss, plan, and launch a new movement. Bipartisan voices from policy, media, law enforcement, Hollywood, tech, academia and impacted communities were brought together to promote support for reforms while also having comprehensive discussions about the policies, replicable models, and data-driven solutions needed to achieve systemic changes.
The Policy & Advocacy Department participated in the 16th Annual Youth Law Fair on Saturday, March 21, 2015, at DC Superior Court (500 Indiana Avenue, NW). The event was widely attended by hundreds of students and parents. This free educational event was organized around the theme of "Profiling: That's Not Me! What's the Problem?" The attendees were joined by attorneys, judges, educators, and community leaders during speak-out sessions aimed at starting a dialogue about racial profiling and how to build positive relationships with law enforcement.
On March 10, 2015, the Committee on the Judiciary conducted a performance oversight hearing. Both Monica Hopkins-Maxwell, our Executive Director, and Seema Sadanandan, our Director of Policy & Advocacy, testified on the realities of police practices in the District. Seema testified in regards to the Metropolitan Police Department as a whole, particularly race-based discriminatory practices. Monica gave testimony in the oversight of the Office of Police Complaints.
Celebrate spring with the ACLU-NCA by meeting interesting people and sharing in drinks, food, and conversation regarding the state of civil liberties in the District of Columbia.
The ACLU of the Nation’s Capital (ACLU-NCA) strongly urges Congress to allow passage of the District’s Human Rights Amendment Act of 2014 and Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014, which the DC Council transmitted to Congress on March 6, 2015, to begin the congressional review period. These two critical pieces of legislation prohibit discriminatory treatment of District employees and students, based on reproductive health decisions or sexual orientation.
On Tuesday, March 10, 2015, the ACLU-NCA presented testimony on the Metropolitan Police Department before the Committee on Judicary & Public Safety. Our testimony focused on law enforcement practices that produce staggering racial disparities in the District of Columbia. These disparities are consistent with the larger pattern of disparities that plague the U.S. criminal justice system. In light of racial disparities, the failure of the Metropolitan Police Department to accurately collect and report data about police interactions with the community make it impossible to determine with absolute certainty whether enforcement strategies promote public safety or unnecessarily undermine community trust and cooperation.
On Thursday, February 26, 2015, the District of Columbia will become the first jurisdiction on the east coast to legalize marijuana. Marijuana reform in the District has been cited as among the first marijuana reform efforts primarily aimed at addressing racially biased enforcement of drug laws and was a necessary step to move smart, fair, and compassionate drug policy in the District. The legalization of marijuana in the District also marks a dramatic shift in public support for drug law reform and reflects the core values of the racial justice movements long building across the country, which reject institutional racism manifested through mass incarceration, the over-policing of Black community and the failed war on drugs.
The American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital sent a letter on Monday, February 23, 2015, to Mayor Muriel Bowser regarding the “Empowering Males of Color” initiative.