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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Due Process

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – A federal judge today dismissed a civil rights lawsuit filed against Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson by the U.S. Department of Justice, which charged that under Johnson’s leadership, the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office unlawfully targeted Latino residents for investigation, traffic stops, arrests, seizures, and other enforcement actions.

“Today's decision flies in the face of a mountain of evidence that Sheriff Johnson and the Alamance County Sheriff's Office engaged in discriminatory policing,” said Carolyna Caicedo Manrique, Staff Attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina (ACLU-NC). “During the trial, the Department of Justice presented expert testimony that Latinos in Alamance County were seven times more likely to be stopped and cited than non-Latinos in the community. This profiling was no accident. According to witnesses, Sheriff Johnson repeatedly and explicitly instructed his deputies to target Latinos, at one point even telling them to ‘go get me some Mexicans.’ We urge the Department of Justice to appeal this miscarriage of justice in order to ensure all Alamance County residents can again have confidence in their Sheriff's department.”

The ACLU and other groups have been receiving complaints about Johnson, his deputies, and their treatment of Latinos for years. A 2012 statistical analysis commissioned by DOJ found that along three major Alamance County highways, ACSO deputies were approximately 4, 9, and 10 times more likely, respectively, to stop Latino drivers than similarly situated non-Latino drivers. The lawsuit listed examples of Latino drivers being followed by Alamance deputies for long stretches of time and then pulled over for little or no reason. Witnesses also testified about numerous incidents in which Johnson and other ACSO employees expressed prejudice against Latino residents.

By Benjamin Holt, Legal Fellow, ACLU-NC Legal Foundation

Yesterday, the North Carolina Court of Appeals heard arguments in Perry v. State of North Carolina, a case that asks whether the government should be allowed to track your location in real time using your cell phone without first obtaining a warrant. 

As we’ve discussed previously, real time cell phone tracking reveals private, invasive, and increasingly precise information about your location and movements. Whenever your phone is turned on—even if you enable its location privacy settings—your cell phone service provider is able to determine with increasing accuracy where your cell phone is located.

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RALEIGH – The ACLU of North Carolina today launched Mobile Justice NC, a free smart phone app that allows North Carolinians to automatically record and submit cell phone videos to the ACLU of North Carolina when they believe law enforcement officers are violating civil rights.

Mobile Justice NC is available for use on Android and iOS phones in English and Spanish. The videos recorded by the app will be transmitted to the ACLU-NC and preserved even if the user’s phone is later seized or destroyed. 

“Our office receives hundreds of calls each year from people describing bad encounters with the police,” said Carolyna Caicedo Manrique, staff attorney for the ACLU of North Carolina. “This tool gives North Carolinians the ability to serve as a check on police abuse when they believe it is occurring, allowing users to record and document any interaction with law enforcement.”

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Robert King, who spent 29 years in solitary confinement in Louisiana State Penitentiary for a false conviction, will discuss his journey and the experience of being in solitary confinement alongside policy advocates working on the front lines of prison reform at the University of North Carolina School of Law on Friday, April 10.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature a conversation with King and Rev. Nancy Petty of Pullen Baptist Memorial Church in Raleigh, followed by a panel discussion about the use of solitary confinement in North Carolina and across the country, its physical and psychological impact on inmates, its relationship to American and international human rights laws, and the growing movement to reform and eventually end the use of solitary confinement in the United States.

A report released in November 2014 by the Human Rights Policy Seminar at the University of North Carolina School of Law concluded that solitary confinement is a cruel, inhuman and degrading form of punishment that amounts to torture and must no longer be used in the United States.

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