Civil Rights Archives

Man Suffers 14-Year False Imprisonment for a Crime He Didn't Commit

A false arrest in New York 14 years ago has a happy ending for a Long Island man. Johnny O'Neal was falsely imprisoned 14 years ago for a rape, a rape of which he was recently cleared. Mr. O'Neal now plans to sue New York officials (including "those responsible") for mishandling the investigation and stealing 14 years of his life from him.

Are NYPD Marijuana Arrests Racially Biased?

Are loopholes in 37-year old laws leading to an increase of false arrests in NYC? If so, are NYPD officers using racial profiling to artificially boost possession charges among minorities? According to at least one public advocacy group they are. The NYPD's own arrest records show that a disproportionate number of people from minority groups are jailed for relatively minor (misdemeanor) marijuana possession when compared to Caucasians. This disparity is even more shocking when you consider that data also shows young white men and women use marijuana at far higher rates than blacks or Latinos.

Stop and Frisk Ruling Opens Door for Civil Rights Lawsuits

District Judge Shira Scheindlin says that the New York Police Department's policy of Stop and Frisk violates civil rights afforded to American citizens and that the policy is essentially "indirect racial profiling." The controversial policy has been lauded by Mayor Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, and others for its ability to allegedly prevent crimes before they happen. In fact, the mayor said in a statement that Stop and Frisk has saved thousands of lives.

Rikers Island Inmates Suffer Higher than Average Rates of Traumatic Brain Injury

A groundbreaking new study involving adolescent male and female inmates incarcerated at Rikers Island has uncovered some shocking news. These inmates suffer much higher rates of traumatic brain injury (sometimes called TBI) than the general population. After extensive medical examinations, doctors have concluded that roughly 50% of the male population inside the prison at any given time has suffered at least one traumatic brain injury (such as concussion). Female inmates were found to have even higher rates that peaked at 65%. When compared to the general population's TBI rate of just 8.5%, there is clearly an issue that law enforcement, corrections, and other legal personnel have been unaware of for decades.

Violence at vigil for teenager shot by police; another case of excessive force?

In protecting the citizens of New York, the officers of the NYPD often have to make quick decisions under stressful conditions. Often, the officers have to balance the safety and need to protect the public against other matters- such as civil rights.

NYPD Under Fire for Possible Excessive Force in Queens Teen's Arrest

The teenage victim and several eye witnesses are saying that officers of the New York City Police Department acted with excessive force when subduing the 19-year old outside a youth center in Queens last month. On January 8th, Robert Jackson was arrested outside the Flushing YMCA. He was confronted by police several officers after he allegedly became vocal and "spewed profanities" at the patrolmen.

HOTEL HOUSEKEEPER'S CIVIL RIGHTS PREVAIL; SETTLEMENT REACHED IN SEXUAL ASSAULT LAWSUIT AGAINST STRAUSS-KAHN, FORMER HEAD OF THE IMF.

Constitutional civil rights trumped diplomatic immunity, opening the door to a legal settlement. A settlement was announced in New York State Supreme Court in the sexual assault civil lawsuit filed against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF,) by Nafissatou Diallo, a hotel housekeeper at the Sofitel Hotel in midtown Manhattan.

APPEALS COURT OVERTURNS TWO CONVICTIONS RESULTING FROM NYPD "STOP-AND-FRISK" SEARCH TACTICS.

The controversial stop-and-frisk police tactics in New York City continue to be legally challenged and are being intensely scrutinized by the courts. Recent court rulings indicate judges are becoming increasingly critical of the practice, and speculation is rampant whether the tactic is denying New Yorkers of their constitutional rights in order to reduce crime.

Alarming Trend of Arrests in NYC Public Schools

Since January 2012, the New York City Police Department has made 327 arrests and issued 555 summonses to public school students. The numbers reveal an increase compared to police data from October through December of 2011, where 279 students were arrested.

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