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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Racial Justice

ACLU Comment on Raleigh Police Shooting

Posted on in Racial Justice

RALEIGH – The Raleigh Police Department has confirmed an officer-involved shooting near downtown Raleigh today. Reports from the scene say shooting was fatal and the victim is Akiel Denkins, a 24-year-old African American man. The shooting occurred on the same day that the Raleigh City Council was scheduled to discuss the issue of police officer worn body cameras, which the Raleigh Police Department does not yet have, but the item was removed from today’s agenda after the shooting.

“Along with many community members in Raleigh, we are alarmed by these reports, trying to learn more details about what happened, and express our deepest condolences to Akiel’s family,” said Sarah Preston, acting Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina. “What we do know is that far too many people of color are victims of wrongful targeting and excessive use of force by law enforcement officers across the country, and North Carolina is not immune to that reality. The public and the victim’s family deserve answers about today’s shooting, and we urge the State Bureau of Investigation and Raleigh Police Department to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation. On a day when the Raleigh City Council was scheduled to discuss officer worn body cameras, this shooting points to the urgent need for North Carolina’s second-largest city’s police department to adopt this crucial technology and an accompanying policy that guarantees it will be used to promote officer accountability and transparency.”   

2016 Paul Green Award Recipient: Darryl Hunt

Posted on in Death Penalty

For many years, the ACLU of North Carolina has recognized people who have made important contributions to abolish or reform the death penalty with the annual Paul Green Award. This year, at the 2016 Liberty Awards Dinner on Saturday, April 2, we are honoring someone who has brought attention to the injustice of the death penalty in an extremely personal way: Darryl Hunt spent 19 years in prison and was almost sentenced to death for a crime he didn't commit.

At 19 years old, Darryl was arrested, charged, and convicted of a 1984 North Carolina murder he didn't commit. Eleven of 12 jurors wanted to sentence him to death, but one refused to waver and he was spared being executed. Although DNA results proved his innocence in 1994, it took another 10 years of legal appeals to exonerate him.

2016 Liberty Awards Dinner: Protecting Democracy
Featuring the Annual Frank Porter Graham Award & keynote speaker Dale Ho, Director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project
Saturday, April 2 at 5 p.m.
William and Ida Friday Center
100 Friday Center Drive, Chapel Hill, NC
Reserve your early bird tickets today!

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CHARLOTTE – A constitutionally suspect proposal that would create “exclusion zones” to ban people who have been arrested from entering certain Charlotte neighborhoods will be discussed by the city’s Community Safety Committee tomorrow, Wednesday, November 18.

“While we have not yet seen a written proposal, the details that have been put forward are extremely  problematic and would almost certainly violate the constitutional rights of a huge number of Charlotteans,” said Susanna Birdsong, Policy Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina. “People should not have to obtain permission from the government to go to work or visit their relatives. We are watching this conversation very closely, and we urge Charlotte officials to abandon their pursuit of such a constitutionally suspect proposal.”      

Read the ACLU of North Carolina's letter expresssing concerns about the proposal to Charlotte's Community Safety Committee here.

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Gov. McCrory Signs Anti-Immigrant HB 318

Posted on in Legislative News

RALEIGH – North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory today signed into law HB 318, which prohibits local governments from adopting so-called “sanctuary” ordinances limiting enforcement of federal immigration law, prohibits some government officials from accepting various forms of ID cards, and expands the use of E-verify.

“By making it harder for people to identify themselves to government officials, discouraging undocumented people from reporting crime, and banning local governments from passing measures aimed at improving public safety, this law makes all North Carolinians less safe,” said Sarah Preston, acting Executive Director of the ACLU of North Carolina. “Immigrants play important roles in our communities and economy. Laws like this encourage discrimination, send the message that North Carolina is unwelcoming, and make it harder for law enforcement officers to do their job keeping all members of the community safe.”

HB 318 prohibits government officials, with the exception of law enforcement officers in some cases, from accepting certain documents, such as matricula consular documents and municipal IDs, to determine a person’s actual identity or residency. It also prohibits local governments from adopting so-called “sanctuary” ordinances that limit the enforcement of federal immigration laws, and invalidates those that currently exist in North Carolina. Among the local policies the law invalidates are those designed to encourage witnesses and victims of crime to contact and cooperate with law enforcement officers.

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