Rhode Island Affiliate, American Civil Liberties Union


Police Practices

Racial Profiling Awareness MonthThe RI ACLU, along with more than a dozen other local organizations, is leading a campaign to bring attention to the critical problem of racial profiling in the state of Rhode Island. To coincide with this campaign, the Senate passed a resolution declaring the month of May “Racial Profiling Awareness Month.”

Court Cases

Court cases to hold the police accountable are an important part of the R.I. ACLU's work to protect the rights of individuals.


For the 2010 session, the Affiliate has introduced a bill that would prohibit police departments from instituting ticket and arrest quotas for officers.

In 2009, the Affiliate fought against invasive police practices, political surveillance and racial profiling.

In 2008, the RI ACLU fought against "red-light cameras" and racial profiling.

Police Practices and Racial Profiling in the News

August 14, 2012 - Groups Join in Opposition to Proposed Providence Curfew Ordinance

July 30, 2012 - Rhode Island ACLU Seeks Details on Automatic License Plate Readers as Part of Massive Nationwide Request

July 26, 2012 - Rhode Island ACLU Urges Police Departments to Adopt Policies on Public Recording of Police Activities

June 25, 2012 - Rhode Island ACLU Issues Statement in Response to Supreme Court Decision in Arizona vs. United States

June 15, 2012 - Groups Denounce Providence Police Department "Stop and Frisk" Plans

June 12, 2012 - ACLU Files Lawsuit Over Unlawful Seizure of Weapons by Cranston Police

April 17, 2012 - ACLU Sues Over Latest Harassment of URI Students by Narragansett Officials

November 9, 2011 - ACLU Issues Statement on Police use of Infrared Technology in Burnside Park

August 3, 2011- RI ACLU Seeks Details on Phone Tracking of Rhode Islanders by State and Providence Police

February 22, 2011- Community and Youth Groups Call for Comprehensive Racial Profiling Bill

May 11, 2010 - ACLU Settles Suit Against Johnston Over Unlawful Release of Driver's License Information

December 4, 2009 - ACLU Sues Town of Johnston for Unlawful Release of Driver’s License Information to Public Official

July 23, 2009 - Groups Urge Federal Government to Reject State Police Request to Enforce Immigration Laws; Letter Cites Two Decades of Racial Profiling Statistics

June 30, 2009 -- ACLU Report to United Nations Documents Racial Profiling In Rhode Island and Across Country

December 31, 2008 -- ACLU To Appeal Dismissal of "Racial Profiling" Lawsuit Against State Police

September 13, 2007-- ACLU Files Open Records Lawsuit Against Providence Police Department Over Video Surveillance Policies

May 23, 2007 -- Judge Orders Release

May 3, 2007 -- ACLU Files Suit to Obtain Central Falls Police Shooting Records

January 8, 2007 -- ACLU Files "Racial Profiling" Lawsuit Against State Police for Illegal Detention of Guatemalans in I-95 Stop

January 4, 2007 -- ACLU Report Documents Continued Racial Profiling Problems in Rhode Island; Calls for Changes in Police Practices

November 30, 2006 -- ACLU Files Open Records Suit Against State Police to Obtain "Racial Profiling" Videotape

August 22, 2006 -- ACLU Calls for Moratorium on Police "Stun Gun" Use

May 26, 2006 -- RI ACLU Criticizes Smoke Shop Raid Ruling

November 14, 2005 -- Traffic Stop Statistics Document Both Racial Profiling and Poor Police Work, ACLU Report Concludes

September 21, 2005 -- Groups File Court Brief Challenging State Raid of Indian Smoke Shop

September 14, 2005 -- ACLU Criticizes Criminal Checks of Katrina Evacuees

August 8, 2005 -- Statistics on Traffic Stop Racial Profiling Show Backsliding, ACLU Report Finds

May 18, 2005 -- Rhode Island ACLU Files Request to Uncover Spy Documents After National ACLU Exposes FBI and Police Spying on Political Groups

May 16, 2005 -- ACLU Applauds Court Ruling on Police Liability for High Speed Chase

May 3, 2005 -- Police Departments Not Abiding By 2004 Law Against Racial Profiling, ACLU Report Finds

April 27, 2005 -- Groups Urge Swift Collection of Evidence in Carpio Arrest

March 31, 2005 -- Research Shows Racial Profiling Persists in RI Traffic Enforcement; ACLU Plans Response

February 3, 2005 -- Settlement Reached in Racial Profiling Claim Against Scituate Police

December 20, 2004 --  Providence Police Obtain Training Funds on Breaking Up "Civil Actions," ACLU Reveals

August 10, 2004 -- Court Rules that Trial Can Proceed in ACLU's Racial Profiling Suit Against Scituate Police

February 12, 2004 -- ACLU Calls For Change to Open Records Law in Response to Death of South Kingstown Man

January 5, 2004 -- ACLU Challenges Providence Appeal of Liability in Racial Profiling Case

November 25, 2003 -- ACLU Responds to Providence “Action Plan” on Racial Profiling

October 27, 2003 -- ACLU Seeks Contempt Order Against Providence Police Department in Suit Over Collection of Racial Profiling Data

September 29, 2003 -- ACLU Demands Continued Racial Profiling Data Collection by Providence Police Department

July 17, 2003 -- Appeal Filed in “Driving While Black” Lawsuit Against Westerly Police

July 15, 2003 -- Groups Condemn Police Raid of Narragansett Smoke Shop

July 1, 2003 -- Civil Rights Groups Respond to Racial Profiling Study

April 21, 2003 -- Supreme Court Orders Providence to Pay Costs, Attorneys Fees in Police Misconduct Open Records Case

January 31, 2003 -- ACLU Files Racial Profiling Lawsuit Against Scituate Police

128 Dorrance Street Suite 220    Providence, RI 02903  dot  Phone (401) 831-7171       Fax (401) 831-7175     riaclu@riaclu.org

Thiswww.riaclu.org is the website of the Rhode Island Affiliate, ACLU and the ACLU Foundation of Rhode Island. 

Learn more about the distinction between these two components of the RI ACLU.