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Help strengthen Oregon's privacy protections and limit the use of dragnet surveillance.

Join us for ACLU’s Privacy Day in Salem on Monday, March 16. We are advocating for:

• Strict guidelines for the use of automatic license plate readers.
• A warrant requirement to access our email, phone, and location records.
• A warrant requirement to search our cell phones.

Advances in technology have made it too easy for law enforcement to track where you go, what you do, and who you are with. Most of the data the government collects is about innocent people who are not suspected of any crimes. Yet the government collects that personal information - or accesses it directly from your internet or cell phone provider – and can keep it for years on end.

It’s time to stop unwarranted spying in Oregon. Join us Monday, March 16 for Privacy Day and tell legislators you support limits on access to your internet, phone, and location information.

Privacy Day registration is $10 (fee waivers available) and includes materials and lunch.

 
Oregon State Capitol
900 Court St NE, Salem, Oregon 97301


Register online: http://aclu-or.org/privacyday

 

ACLU Receives Heavily Redacted Incident Report

On Aug. 12, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri asked the Ferguson Police Department to release the incident report for the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of Michael Brown. After the request was denied, the ACLU filed a Missouri Sunshine Law suit on Aug. 15. Late Thursday afternoon, the ACLU received a heavily redacted copy of the incident report. The St. Louis County Police Department had released their redacted incident report on Wednesday.

“It’s been nearly two weeks and Ferguson is still hiding information regarding the fatal shooting of Michael Brown,” said Tony Rothert, legal director of the ACLU of Missouri. “It is long past time for the Ferguson Police Department to begin building public trust and the first step is to release a complete copy of the incident report.”


Full Transparency Still Missing: What The Ferguson Police Have Revealed About Mike Brown's Shooting        ThePortlandAlliance.org/aclu

Mike Brown Incident Report - Click here to see the full reportView the full report

Ferguson is still hiding information regarding the fatal shooting of Michael Brown. It is long past time for the Ferguson Police Department to begin building public trust and the first step is to release a complete copy of the incident report.

  • On Aug. 12, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri asked the Ferguson Police Department to release the complete incident report for the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of Michael Brown. After the request was denied, the ACLU filed a Missouri Sunshine Law suit on Aug. 15.
  • On Aug. 20th we received the St. Louis County Police Department's incident report, which only includes barebones information and lacks any narrative description of what occurred. The county report classifies the shooting as a homicide.
  • The report from the St. Louis County Police reveals a time discrepancy which further suggests there is much the public doesn’t know. The county report shows a 43 minute delay before anyone called the county police and another 47 minute delay before the county police arrived on the scene.
  • The following day, Aug. 21, the ACLU received the Ferguson Police Department's incident report. It was redacted, and also lacked any narrative description of what occurred.

It is deeply troubling and unacceptable that the two incident reports we’ve received completely lack any detailed information of what happened when Officer Darren Wilson encountered and then shot an unarmed Michael Brown. Two weeks after the shooting, this demonstrates a continued lack of transparency and adds to confusion about the events of the day. We still do not have what should be publicly available information about the police shooting of Michael Brown.

Ferguson, MO ProtestThe shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., is a grim reminder that there are two kinds of policing in America today: one to serve and protect the white community and one to criminalize and control the black community.

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, the predominately white local and county police responded to the largely peaceful protests in the overwhelmingly African-American community with a show of force that left Americans wondering whether they were watching events unfold on the streets of suburban St. Louis or on the streets of an authoritarian country. The police's paramilitary tactics and mindset combined with the slow and selective release of information to smear Michael Brown have only served to enflame the situation. Law enforcement officers and officials are public servants tasked with serving and protecting their communities, not erecting a blue wall of silence to insulate themselves from transparency and accountability.

Policing in America disproportionately and negatively affects communities of color, particularly black youth. Since April, police across the country have  killed at least six unarmed black men under circumstances that strongly suggest the unjustified use of lethal force and racial profiling. The ACLU has also found that paramilitary SWAT raids are disproportionately used against black and Latino citizens rather than white citizens when serving warrants in search of drugs, even though blacks, Latinos, and whites use drugs at roughly the same rates. The ACLU has also documented that nationwide blacks are almost four times more likely – and in some states eight times more likely– to be arrested for marijuana possession despite the fact that blacks and whites use marijuana at similar rates.

Systemic reform is necessary, not only in Ferguson, Mo., but nationwide.

The shooting of Michael Brown and the aggressive militarized response of local, county, and state law enforcement to the protests impact many interrelated areas of concern for the ACLU nationwide, including racialized policing, police use of force, the militarization of police, and the First Amendment.

To serve and protect is not a suggestion. It is a mandate that law enforcement must apply equally to all communities. OtherGetty Photographer, Scott Olson, arrested at Ferguson protestwise, there will only be more Fergusons. The ACLU of Missouri and the American Civil Liberties Union and allies across the country urge local, state, and national legislators and law enforcement officials to take the following actions and institute the following reforms.

State of Missouri and Ferguson and St. Louis County Police Departments »

State and Local Lawmakers and Law Enforcement Across the United States »

The Department of Justice »

U.S. Congress »

In the Courts

The ACLU and ACLU of Missouri have been working diligently to shed light on what transpired in Feguson, as well to protect First Amendment rights for the community and media. The ACLU of Missouri has filed two Missouri Sunshine Law suits to receive copies of the incident reports from both the St. Louis County and the Ferguson Police Departments, which have both to date refused to turn over the reports that should contain important details regarding the shooting, and are key to a fair and just investigation.

Getty Photographer, Scott Olson, arrested at Ferguson protest

There Is No 5-Second Rule for the First Amendment, Ferguson
Tear gas, rubber bullets, and assault weapons; free speech zones, gags, and press pens: This is the arsenal of the police state.

SWAT Team at the door

The Real Reason Ferguson Has Military Weapons
It used to be billy clubs, fire hoses and snarling German shepherds. Now it's armored personnel carriers and flash-bang grenades. The weaponry has changed, but the target is still the same.

Ferguson protest

Ferguson is Everytown, U.S.A.
The tragic killing of college-bound teenager Michael Brown has raised questions about the frequency with which police kill unarmed black men in America. The answer, unfortunately, is far too often.

Ferguson Police/Swat exit a vehicle

Ferguson: On the Ground
In the wake of the Michael Brown tragedy last week, the ACLU has been working diligently to shed light on what transpired, as well as preserve First Amendment Rights for the community and media.

Michael Brown's Dad at Ferguson Protest

Ferguson Police's PR Stunt Poisons Independent and Impartial Investigation
The tragic killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson Police Department has shocked his family, community, and the nation.

Trayvon Martin's mother: Sybrina Fulton

Parents of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis Share Their Loss at the United Nations
Sitting in meetings in the UN's ornate Wilson Palace by the shores of Lake Geneva seems an odd place to discuss racial discrimination in the United States.

The U.S. Record on Racial Discrimination is on the Whole World's Agenda

By Chandra Bhatnagar, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Human Rights Program at 3:18pm

As the United Nations this week debated America's record on race, one name was on everyone's minds: Michael Brown. Not only Americans have been riveted this week by the tragic killing of the unarmed teenager, the subsequent protests, and the militarized response of law enforcement in Ferguson, Mo.

The events in the overwhelmingly black suburb of St. Louis came as the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination reviewed U.S. compliance with the world's leading anti-discrimination legal instrument, which the United States ratified 20 years ago. The gap between the rights guaranteed by our Constitution on one hand, and the reality of the persistent racism that continues to plague our society on the other, could not have been made more relevant by current events.

That gap is just as stark when viewed from the lens of international human rights law. This week, in Geneva, Switzerland, the U.N. committee that oversees compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination placed the U.S. record under the spotlight. The committee, comprised of leading human rights and race discrimination experts from all over the world, heard from high-level representatives of the U.S. government in a large delegation as well as from advocates and victims of human rights abuses.

The committee expressed deep concern at the circumstances surrounding Mr. Brown's shooting as well as over other recent deaths of unarmed African-American men – like Eric Garner, John Crawford, Ezell Ford, and others – at the hands of law enforcement. They heard heartbreaking testimony from the mother of Trayvon Martin and the father of Jordan Davis, both of whom lost their sons in violent circumstances that underscored the overt and subconscious forms of racism that our country continues to face. Mark Kappelhoff, the deputy assistant attorney general of the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice said in response to the committee's questions that the Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation into the Brown case.

The United States was represented by a high-level delegation led by Ambassador Keith Harper, a member of the Cherokee nation of Oklahoma and the first Native American U.S. ambassador to represent the United States at the U.N. Human Rights Council. In Ambassador Harper's words:

The United States has made...visible progress that is reflected in the leadership of our society, [but] we recognize that we have much left to do. Issues covered by this Convention are of such fundamental and deep importance that we must continue to make progress. For this reason, we value the opportunity for dialogue with the Committee.

That dialogue was a rich one, with the committee questioning the United States on a variety of issues, including deaths on the Southern border, the unaccompanied minor crisis, family detention, lack of access to justice for individuals detained at Guantánamo Bay, education, and violence against women, amongst many other topics. The committee also asked specific questions about lack of implementation of the treaty at federal, state, and local levels and echoed many concerns raised in the ACLU shadow report submitted to the committee. Those include:

The committee's final report and recommendations will be issued on August 29. We hope that they serve as a guide for how our government can better comply with its obligations under the convention and – more importantly – take further steps to address persistent forms of discrimination and prevent any more unnecessary deaths.

The world is watching.

Learn more about racial discrimination and other civil liberties issues: Sign up for breaking news alertsfollow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

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Becky Straus
Legislative Director
ACLU of Oregon

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