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The Other Epidemic: Fatal Police Shootings in the Time of COVID -19

August 18, 2020

This report examines whether circumstances surrounding the public health crisis — unprecedented societal isolation combined with relaxed police department routine enforcement — has led to a change in the frequency with which the police fatally shoot people in the U.S. Using data from The Washington Post's "Fatal Force" database, this report provides national and state-level data on fatal shootings by police since 2015, including during COVID-19. Our analysis reveals that the police have continued to fatally shoot people at the same rate during the first six months of 2020 as they did over the same period from 2015 to 2019. The report also demonstrates that Black, Native American/Indigenous, and Latinx people are still more likely than white people to be shot and killed by police. The report puts forth a set of recommendations designed to reduce police departments' role, presence, responsibilities, and funding, including dramatically transforming use-of-force laws, and instead reinvest into community-based services that are better suited to respond to actual community needs. These measures can lead to a reduction in police interactions, and in turn, help put an end to racist police violence.

Stop-and-Frisk: A First Look at Six Months of Data on Stop-and-Frisk Practices in Newark

February 1, 2014

This study constitutes the first public analysis of stop-and-frisk practices in Newark. The study compares Newark to its close neighbor to the east, New York City. While six months of stop-and-frisk data is insufficient to draw definitive conclusions about the Newark Police Department's stop-and-frisk practices, the ACLU-NJ believes that the initial concerns raised by these data are strong enough to warrant corrective actions now. This study has three primary findings: 1) High volume of stop-and-frisks; 2) Black Newarkers bear the disproportionate brunt of stop-and-frisks; 3) The majority of people stopped are innocent. The study concludes with a series of recommendations for greater compliance with the Newark Police Department's Transparency Policy and for ensuring that stop-and-frisk abuses do not take place. An Appendix is also included with additional data on stop-and-frisk activities in Newark, including by precinct, age, and sex.

Justice Derailed: What Raids on Trains and Buses Reveal about Border Patrol's Interior Enforcement Practices

November 1, 2011

This report is the first-ever in-depth examination of the Border Patrol's transportation raids in upstate New York. It paints a disturbing picture of an agency resorting to aggressive policing tactics in order to increase arrest rates, without regard for the costs and consequences of its practices on New Yorkers' rights and freedoms. The report extends beyond transportation raids to other Border Patrol practices as well, raising serious concerns about an agency that appears to be driven by the belief that the regular rules of the Constitution do not apply to it.

Religious Freedom Under Attack: The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State

August 1, 2011

In the summer of 2010, national media attention turned to a plan to build a Muslim community center, to be called "Park51," a few blocks away from ground zero. Although the plan was first reported in late 2009, with a quote from the project's religious leader at the time stating that its goal was to "push back against the extremists," the proposal did not receive much media attention until May 2010.This report discusses the legal and cultural background against which these controversies are playing out, and details some of the recent attacks on Muslim communities in New York. It also offers recommendations for how our government and our communities can work to increase intercultural understanding of Muslim New Yorkers and reduce anti-Muslim sentiment in New York State.

Education Interrupted: The Growing Use of Suspensions in New York City's Public Schools

January 1, 2011

The New York Civil Liberties Union analyzed 10 years of discipline data from New York City schools, and found that:*The total number of suspensions in New York City grew at an alarming rate over the last decade: One out of every 14 students was suspended in 2008-2009; in 1999-2000 it was one in 25. In 2008-2009, this added up to more than 73,000 suspensions.*Students with disabilities are four times more likely to be suspended than students without disabilities.*Black students, who comprise 33 percent of the student body, served 53 percent of suspensions over the past 10 years. *Black students with disabilities represent more than 50 percent of suspended students with disabilities.*Black students also served longer suspensions on average and were more likely to be suspended for subjective misconduct, like profanity and insubordination.*Suspensions are becoming longer: More than 20 percent of suspensions lasted more than one week in 2008-2009, compared to 14 percent in 1999-2000. The average length of a long-term suspension is five weeks (25 school days).*Between 2001 and 2010, the number of infractions listed in the schools' Discipline Code increased by 49 percent. During that same period, the number of zero tolerance infractions, which mandate a suspension regardless of the individual facts of the incident, increased by 200 percent.*Thirty percent of suspensions occur during March and June of each school year.

Voices from Varick: Detainee Grievances at New York City's Only Federal Immigration Detention Facility

February 23, 2010

Analyzes one year of grievances filed by immigration detainees housed in the Varick Federal Detention Facility. It documents detainee stories of inadequate medical care and mistreatment by the facility's staff. It adds to the growing chorus of voices that have concluded that the federal government has failed in its responsibilities to provide adequate care to detainees housed in immigration facilities.