Justice is within your reach: Download Mobile Justice DC TODAY!

December 29, 2015

The app, available in both the Google Android and Apple iOS stores, allows users to record law enforcement, to alert other Mobile Justice DC app users to nearby law enforcement encounters, and to submit videos and incident reports automatically to the American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital (ACLU-DC). Individuals who believe that they have witnessed a civil rights violation can complete an incident report and send it to the ACLU-DC for review, along with their contact information, for follow-up.

From Rodney King to Eric Garner, to Jason Goolsby, bystander videos have helped draw document police abuse and have led to change.  Video can provide strong evidence of police abuse, especially compared to encounters where it is the word of officers against the word of criminal suspects.  Even where officers aren’t criminally charged, videos of egregious cases of policing abuse have led to national conversation on issues around use of force and the role of race in policing, and have led to changes in police departments like the adoption of civilian oversight.  Mobile Justice DC will make sure that bystander video is preserved even if police attempt to seize the phone or delete the files, and will help ensure video evidence of police abuse gets to the ACLU and civil rights community organizations that can use it to make change.

ACLU-NCA Newsletters

February 16, 2015

Read current and past ACLU-NCA newsletters. The publication contains news, announcements, and upcoming events.

Town Halls: Girls of Color in D.C. Public Schools

July 28, 2016

DC Public School data shows that boys and girls of color both suffer from an opportunity gap not experienced by their white counterparts. However, though DCPS created a $20 million initiative for boys, they won't let in girls.


May 24, 2016


American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation's Capital (ACLU-DC) announces an open position: Dunn Fellow

POSITIONS ANNOUCEMENT: Policy Director and Strategic Communications Manager

May 18, 2016

POSITIONS ANNOUCEMENT: Policy Director and Strategic Communications Manager

American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation's Capital (ACLU-DC) announces two open positions: Policy Director and Strategic Communications Manager.

ACLU Victory in Deaf Rights Case

May 12, 2016

On May 11, a federal court jury in DC awarded our profoundly deaf client, William Pierce, $70,000 for the harm he suffered when he spent 51 days in the DC Jail with almost no accommodation for his inability to hear and speak. He had no American Sign Language interpreter for his meetings with medical personnel for his medical problems, for his anger management class, or his graphic arts class, and he spent two weeks in solitary confinement by mistake because of his inability to communicate with guards.  In an earlier opinion in the case, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson ruled that DC violated Mr. Pierce’s rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act when they took no action to determine what accommodation he needed to be able to communicate effectively with prison staff.

The Washington Post’s coverage of the verdict is here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/us-jury-orders-dc-corrections-to-pay-70000-to-deaf-inmate-in-ada-claim/2016/05/11/6bf30a0a-1797-11e6-9e16-2e5a123aac62_story.html

LEAVING GIRLS BEHIND: An Analysis of Washington D.C.’s “Empowering Males of Color” Initiative

May 09, 2016

Press Release For: Monday, May 9, 2016, at 2:00 PM


Report finds no justification for single-sex educational programs – DCPS chooses to leave girls behind   

Washington, DC – Today, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital (ACLU-DC) have released a report, Leaving Girls Behind: An analysis of Washington D.C.’s “Empowering Males of Color” Initiative. The report, which summarizes the results of a Freedom of Information Law request, focuses on the exclusion of women and girls from the programming launched under this this new, $20 million initiative. Despite statistics showing that girls of color in Washington DC are suffering from many of the same serious educational disparities facing boys of color, the programs launched under this initiative appear to be open almost exclusively to boys, with no plans for any similar programming for girls.

ACLU-DC Testimony on the Protecting Students Digital Privacy Act of 2016

March 21, 2016

Thank you for the opportunity to present testimony on Bill 21-578, the “Protecting Students Digital Privacy Act of 2016.” My name is Melanie Bates and I am the Director of Policy and Communications at the American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital (ACLU-DC). I am here today on behalf of our more than 3,000 members across all eight wards in the District of Columbia.

I.                Background

In the digital age, governments and corporations are armed with powerful tools that enable them to get at our personal information without our knowledge or consent. The risk these tools present to Americans’ privacy is made far worse by the fact that our privacy laws have failed to keep pace with new technologies.

Corporations should only be able to access our personal data, or your children’s data, if you’ve given them clear and explicit permission to do so. The same rule applies to the government, which also can get a warrant if it doesn’t want to seek or fails to get your permission.  But using stealthy, secret or concealed technologies to get your data without your knowledge and consent is not acceptable, and we need stronger laws to prevent it from happening and to punish those who do it. This is especially the case when it comes to protecting the District’s children, such as Councilmember Grosso’s Protecting Students Digital Privacy Act of 2016 aims to do. By introducing this legislation, Councilmember Grosso has recognized that our laws should empower parents and children to decide who they want to share personal, private information with. Isn’t that a right we should be extending to all families in the District of Columbia in 2016? We strongly believe it is.  


March 08, 2016

There are upcoming opportunities to watch ACLU in court. Questions? Please contact us at 202-457-0800.

ACLU-DC Files Amicus Brief in Prince Jones v. United States

February 25, 2016

This case involves the surreptitious use of a cell site simulator, a cell phone surveillance device commonly known as a “Stingray.”2 These privacy-invasive devices have been employed by law enforcement agencies for years with little to no oversight from legislative bodies or the courts due to a deliberate policy of secrecy.3 Cell site simulators can be installed in vehicles, mounted on aircraft, or even carried by hand.4 They masquerade as the cellular tower antennas of wireless companies such as AT&T and Sprint, and in doing so, force all mobile phones within the range of the device that subscribe to the impersonated wireless carrier to emit identifying signals, which can be used to locate not only a particular suspect, but bystanders as well. In this case, Metropolitan Police Department (“MPD”) officers transmitted signals through the walls of homes and vehicles in a Washington, D.C., neighborhood to force Defendant’s mobile phone to transmit its unique serial number and, as a result, reveal its location. In the process, MPD also collected data about an unknown number of bystanders’ phones. Amici submit this brief to provide publicly available facts about cell site simulators’ capabilities to inform the Court of Fourth Amendment concerns unique to this technology. Amici also explain why, in light of the extreme secrecy surrounding law enforcement use of cell site simulators in the District, it is crucial that the Court provide guidance to police, prosecutors, and the public about the Fourth Amendment’s application to cell site simulator surveillance, even if the Court could resolve the case without reaching the merits of this issue.

Without you, the ACLU
cannot survive and grow.

Protect the future
of civil liberties...