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News & Press Releases

May
26
2016
Complaint: NYPD Unlawfully Orders Homeless People to Leave Public Spaces

The New York Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint today on behalf of Picture the Homeless urging the New York City Commission on Human Rights to investigate the NYPD’s practice of forcing homeless people in Harlem to “move along” when they have not violated any laws but are simply present on streets, sidewalks and in other public spaces. The NYCLU argues that the NYPD’s actions violate the Community Safety Act, which prohibits “bias-based profiling,” including targeting people based on their housing status. Today’s action is the first major actions brought under the Community Safety Act.

May
25
2016
NYCLU Hails Passage of Criminal Justice Reform Act and Calls for Accompanying Police Reforms

The New York City Council passed the Criminal Justice Reform Act today, a package of eight bills that could prevent hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, especially people of color, from being slapped with criminal records for minor offenses. The bills require the NYPD to create a policy encouraging officers to steer people accused of certain low-level offenses, like littering and drinking in public, into civil court where they will not face criminal penalties. The bills now go to Mayor de Blasio, who is expected to sign them.

May
19
2016
Settlement Ensures Refugee Children Can Go to High School in Utica

The New York Civil Liberties Union and Legal Services of Central New York today announced a settlement agreement that protects immigrant students’ right to equal educational opportunities in Utica and provides a model for how New York school districts can ensure that English language learners are not segregated into inferior alternative programs without their full knowledge and consent.

May
19
2016
NYCLU Sues NYPD After it Refuses to Disclose Critical Information About Stingrays

The New York Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit today against the NYPD after the department refused to reveal important information about its acquisition of Stingrays—controversial surveillance devices that spy on cell phones nearby and that can be used to track location. The lawsuit comes after the NYCLU revealed in February that the NYPD has used Stingrays more than 1,000 times since 2008 in investigations ranging from robbery and drug cases to criminal contempt of court, without a written policy.

May
18
2016
Rochester Police Department Spent Hundreds of Thousands on Stingray Device

The Rochester Police Department has spent at least $200,000 since 2011 to acquire and maintain a Stingray and related equipment. Stingrays are surveillance devices that spy on cell phones nearby and can be used to track location. The information comes from documents released by the department in response to a New York Civil Liberties Union FOIL request sent in June of last year. The documents also show that the devices were purchased, in part with money from state grants, to gather intelligence on gang members.

May
17
2016
Immigrant Student Enrolling Today in Mamaroneck High School following Commissioner’s Order

The New York State Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia issued an interim order yesterday requiring the Mamaroneck Union Free School District to enroll a 16-year-old immigrant student in its high school. The student, C.M., had only completed a middle school education in Guatemala and did not have a high school diploma, yet was barred from Mamaroneck High School and forced to travel to New Rochelle to attend his old high school. As a result of yesterday’s order, C.M. is enrolling in Mamaroneck High School this morning.

May
11
2016
NYCLU Sues Ramapo Police Department for Refusing to Disclose Critical Policies

The New York Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the Ramapo Police Department today after it 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.

May
10
2016
Lawsuit Challenges Shameful Exclusion of Farmworkers from Right to Organize

Farmworkers are excluded from the critical protection of the right to organize without fear of retaliation under New York state’s labor law, a violation of the state constitution that forces them to work in life-threatening, sweatshop-like conditions, according to a lawsuit filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union against New York state and Governor Cuomo today in the State Supreme Court. It is the first lawsuit that demands that farmworkers receive the same basic protections from the state that virtually every other worker receives.

May
4
2016
NYCLU Takes Action on Behalf of Immigrant Student Illegally Barred from School

The New York Civil Liberties Union today filed an appeal on behalf of a 16-year-old student, asking the New York State Commissioner of Education to reverse Mamaroneck Union Free School District’s decision to bar the child from attending high school in the district. The decision violates the student’s right to an education under the New York State Constitution and could prevent him from obtaining the education to which he’s entitled.

Apr
29
2016
NYCLU Posts Notice of Raza and Handschu Settlements

UPDATE: U.S. District Judge Charles S. Haight, Jr. has extended the comment period on the proposed Settlement Agreement amending the Modified Handschu Guidelines to 11:59 P.M. on May 26, 2016. He has also added a final in-court hearing date on June 1, 2016. All class members who wish to comment in support or opposition to the proposed Settlement may register to present comments in person on June 1, or may submit written comments without appearing, but must do so by 11:59 P.M. on May 26, 2016.

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