The War on Marijuana is a War on Equality
When it comes to marijuana arrests, D.C. is one of the worst offenders in the country, with a higher arrest rate, more racially biased arrests and more money spent than almost any other jurisdiction. Aggressive enforcement of marijuana laws does not diminish use or availability, and money could be better spent invested in our communities to enhance public health and safety, drug treatment programs, and police-community relations.
ACLU of the Nation's Capital invites law students interested in public interest lawyering to apply for summer internships. Work on civil liberties litigation and legislation to help the community of Washington, DC.
July 4th Palisades Parade Update: ACLU-NCA will not have its own contingent in the Palisades Parade this year, but hope to participate again in 2013. For those ACLU-NCA members who support DC Statehood and wish to participate in the parade with other organizations that also support statehood for the District of Columbia, please contact email@example.com or at 202-457-0800.
Police are tracking people through their cell phones and capturing data on the travels of tens of thousands of car license tags, yet the public can't learn anything about these high-tech surveillances, according to ACLU testimony. These developments were detailed in the ACLU statement to the D.C. Council Committee on the Judiciary oversight hearing on the Washington Metropolitan Police Department held February 29.
D.C. Council Presses Officials for Action on ACLU Data Showing High Rate of Suspensions at D.C. Charter SchoolsFebruary 15, 2012
The D.C. Council recently grilled officials and asked for action in reponse to dramatic testimony to the D.C. Council Committee of the Whole on February 8, when ACLU Senior Staff Attorney Fritz Mulhauser revealed new ACLU findings -- that public charter schools in the District in 2009-2010 (the latest year for which there is adequate data) suspended 4,500 of their 29,000 students--16 per cent of the enrollment.
ACLU Challenges Another "Contempt of Cop" False Arrest: Transit Police At Fault, Suit Says, In 2011 U Street IncidentJanuary 26, 2012
Lawrence Miller saw his friend, Dwight Harris, thrown from his wheelchair last June 2011 by Metro Transit Police, and he spoke up--asking the officers why; urging them to take more care of a disabled person; and questioning why a peaceful U Street vendor lay bloody on the sidewalk. Police told him to be quiet and he turned to leave.
Even so, despite committing no crime and aopparently just for asking his questions, Miller was arrested and locked up, charged with inciting a riot and assaulting an officer--charges a prosecutor tossed out at the first opportunity.
Described as a Hero by those he has helped, Jai Shankar, father of a ten year old, has lived in America for 20 years. His son is a citizen. He is not. When his friend’s camera was stolen, Jai called the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department. Instead of seeking out the thief, the Police questioned Jai, determined he was out of status and held him for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). After more than five months of incarceration and two years of wearing an ankle bracelet, a cloud of deportation remains over his head. Last year, America set a new record for deportations, sending 400,000 to uncertain fates; breaking up families; separating children from their parents; making those exposed reluctant to cooperate with the police, even when facing domestic violence at home.
The Department of Homeland Security recently changed course for its failed Secure Communities Program. After rejections by state and local governments, the Department has unilaterally abandoned its so-called “voluntary” program and declared it a “mandatory” program. Those powers ordinarily reserved to the states are apparently being taken by the federal government. When the “voluntary” program was launched, Washington, D.C. was the first in the nation to reject it. Illinois, Massachusetts, New York and others followed. Under the new “mandatory” program, immigrants, like Jai, who have committed no crime or have committed a minor offense can be held for ICE, without ever having been convicted of anything.
The affects of the mandatory Secure Communities Program was the subject of a Forum held recently at the UDC-David A. Clarke School of Law and co-hosted by the ACLU of the Nation’s Capital. View pictures and learn more »
ACLU Welcomes Start of Public Discussion of Privacy Implications of License Plate Tracking By Law EnforcementNovember 21, 2011
The ACLU of the Nation's Capital today urged executive and legislative branches of government in the District to take note of the report in the Washington Post November 20 on the "vast system that tracks the comings and goings of anyone driving around the District."
The Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) has agreed to a new policy that will for the first time respect the First Amendment right to wear religious head scarves in police holding facilities such as district stations and the central cellblock.