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News & Press Releases

Sep
28
2016
School District Cannot Refuse to Admit Immigrant Student, State Orders

The New York State Commissioner of Education today ordered the Mamaroneck Union Free School District to permanently enroll a 16-year-old immigrant student, C.M., who it had illegally sought to exclude, thanks to the New York Civil Liberties Union’s appeal on behalf of the student.

Sep
21
2016
Lawsuit: Syracuse Jail is Harming Children with Abusive Solitary Confinement Conditions

The New York Civil Liberties Union and Legal Services of Central New York filed a lawsuit in district court today against the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office for locking up children ages 16 and 17, many of whom are mentally ill, in near-complete isolation in solitary confinement for months at a time. The children are sexually harassed by adults, housed in disgusting conditions, denied education and, in some cases, pushed to contemplating suicide.

Sep
15
2016
NYCLU: New Data Shows Aggressive Discipline of Children Doesn’t Make NYC Schools Safer

NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton and Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina today announced the release of the NYPD’s second quarter school safety data. According to the School Safety Division, city public schools have experienced a 35 percent decrease in index crime over the last five years.

Sep
8
2016
Outdated Abortion Law is Inconsistent with Women’s Rights, Says Attorney General

The New York Civil Liberties Union welcomed an opinion today by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman clarifying that women’s reproductive rights affirmed in Roe v Wade supersede restrictions in New York’s older and existing abortion laws. The Supreme Court has found it unconstitutional to deny women the right to abortion later in pregnancy if a woman’s health is at risk or the fetus is not viable, yet New York law, drafted earlier and left uncorrected, has criminalized abortion care later in pregnancy.

Aug
30
2016
NYCLU Settles Lawsuit Against Ramapo Police for Keeping Critical Policies Secret

The New York Civil Liberties Union has agreed to a settlement with the Ramapo Police Department that a judge is expected to approve today. The NYCLU filed the lawsuit in May after the department refused to comply with a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request seeking basic information about how the controversial department operates. The NYCLU sought policies and data on a variety of policing tactics, such as the use of force, stops and temporary detentions, surveillance technologies and the enforcement of non-criminal offenses.

Aug
30
2016
NYCLU: Ruling Modernizes Definition of Parent

The New York Court of Appeals today ruled that the current legal definition of a “parent” must be broadened to include partners who are not a child’s biological or adoptive parent. The court overturned a series of its past decisions by finding the state’s current definition “has become unworkable when applied to increasingly varied familial relationships.”

Aug
26
2016
NYCLU Takes Action in Wake of Severe Dysfunction and Discrimination in East Ramapo Schools

The New York Civil Liberties Union filed an appeal with the State Education Department Thursday challenging the refusal of the widely discredited East Ramapo School Board to seat Sabrina Charles-Pierre for the full two-year term to which she was duly elected in May. According to the NYCLU’s legal papers, this is just the latest example of the board’s dysfunction and consistent disempowerment of the school district’s largely Black and Latino public school community that had actively supported her candidacy.

Aug
24
2016
New Syracuse Body Cameras Need Policies that Ensure Police Accountability

In response to news Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Justice has awarded Syracuse a $59,000 grant for the police department to acquire body cameras to initiate a pilot program, the New York Civil Liberties Union issued the following statement attributable to NYCLU Central New York Chapter Director Yusuf Abdul Qadir.

Aug
23
2016
New Report Underscores Need to Rein in NYPD Surveillance of American Muslims

The NYPD Inspector General today released a report that examined the NYPD’s compliance with the Handschu Guidelines -- which protect New Yorkers’ lawful political and religious activities from unwarranted surveillance – while investigating a sample of cases closed between 2010 and 2015 that mostly involved American Muslims. The report found that the NYPD failed to adhere to important safeguards that protect people’s rights and the integrity of investigations.

Aug
19
2016
Overbroad Campaign Finance Bill Threatens Free Speech

The New York Civil Liberties Union sent a letter this week to Governor Cuomo raising serious concerns about a bill that could chill constitutionally protected speech and discourage people from contributing to nonprofit organizations that fight for causes they care about. The governor could sign this bill into law within a matter of days.

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