[Hpn] ACLU News 4-25: Housing Discrimination, Profile Policing & more! FWD

Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Sun, 07 May 2000 12:43:28 -0700 (PDT)


FWD - two excerpted articles on Housing Bias & Racial Profiling by Police

Subject: ACLU News 04-25-2000: Abortion Ban, Housing Discrimination, More!
Reply-To: owner-news@lists.aclu.org

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     Court Rejects Michigan's Attempt to End ACLU
     Challenge To Urine Testing of Welfare Recipients

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 18, 2000

DETROIT, MI -- Rejecting Michigan's attempt to end a lawsuit challenging
drug testing of welfare recipients, a court today ruled that the action
brought by the American Civil Liberties Union must go forward.

In her ruling, federal district court judge Victoria Roberts said that ACLU
clients Terry Konieczny and Tanya Marchwinski and the welfare-advocacy
group Westside Mothers, are legally entitled to challenge Michigan's
program of suspicionless drug testing of applicants and recipients of state
assistance.

"We are very pleased that this case will now be allowed to move forward. We
are hopeful that the judge will enter a permanent injunction that prohibits
implementation of this unconstitutional drug testing law," said Kary Moss,
Executive Director of the ACLU of Michigan.

The ACLU has argued that the program testing violates the Fourth
Amendment's requirement that people not be subjected to "searches and
seizures" without probable cause or suspicion that illegal activity has
occurred.

Last November, Judge Roberts agreed, and issued a temporary restraining
order blocking the state from instituting its drug testing program. Shortly
after that decision, the state sought to have the case dismissed, arguing
that the ACLU's clients did not have standing to prosecute the action.

Since October 1, 1999, the state Family Independence Agency has operated a
pilot program requiring drug testing and treatment for welfare applicants
in certain regions of the state, including Detroit. The program began after
the Michigan legislature enacted a law requiring such testing.

Those who test positive are required to participate in substance abuse
assessment and comply with a required substance abuse treatment plan.
Applicants who refuse to submit to drug testing will have their application
for assistance denied. Additionally, after six months  in April 2000  20
percent of adults and minor parent grantees with active cases up for
redetermination would have been randomly selected to be tested.

The parties will now set a schedule for submission of additional briefs. No
additional hearing dates have been determined.

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     Civil Rights Groups Launch
     Statewide Campaign To Combat Racial Profiling

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 19, 2000

SEATTLE, WA -- At a news conference today at the American Civil Liberties
Union of Washington, the ACLU and several civil rights groups announced the
launch of a statewide campaign to combat racial profiling by police.

The action comes in the wake of the enactment of legislation to tackle the
problem of racial profiling - the practice by some police of stopping
motorists based on their race or ethnicity.

"Racial profiling undermines the principle of equal treatment under the law
-- the foundation of our system of justice. said Kathleen Taylor, Executive
Director of the ACLU of Washington. "It also undermines public confidence
in law enforcement, especially in communities of color. The ACLU and other
civil rights groups are urging local police agencies around the state to
take action to end racial profiling."

In addition to the ACLU of Washington, groups working on the campaign
include the Washington Commission on African American Affairs, the
Washington Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, the Washington
Commission on Hispanic Affairs, the National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People, and the Urban League.

On March 24, Governor Gary Locke signed into law a measure with three key
provisions"

-- The Washington State Patrol (which is responsible for 700,000 of the
state's 1.7 million annual traffic stops) will collect data on race,
ethnicity, gender, and age of people stopped and will make a report to the
Legislature on December 1.

-- The State Patrol, the Washington State Criminal Justice Training
Commission, and the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs
(WASPC) will develop criteria for this kind of data collection, as well as
develop training materials for use by local law enforcement agencies.

-- WASPC is directed to encourage its members to collect this data
voluntarily and to report to the Legislature by December 1 on how many of
its member-agencies have agreed to do so.

Civil rights groups will work together to urge local police agencies in
Washington to follow the state's lead by agreeing to collect data on
traffic stops and to take other steps to curb racial profiling. Initial
meetings with law enforcement officials have been held in Spokane and in
Kitsap County. The civil rights groups plan to mobilize people to testify
at hearings on racial profiling to be held by the State Senate's Judiciary
Committee in Tacoma in May and in Seattle in June.

To raise public awareness about racial profiling, the ACLU of Washington is
placing large ads on the issue in the Thursday, April 20 editions of the
Seattle Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Tacoma's News Tribune, and
the Yakima Herald-Republic. Numerous public officials and civil rights
leaders have lent their names to the ads.

The Washington campaign is part of a growing nationwide effort to address
racial profiling. In the past six months, the number of local law
enforcement agencies that have stepped forward to voluntarily collect
statistics on traffic stops has risen dramatically to almost 200
nationwide.

Police departments compiling such information now include those in San
Diego, San Jose, Houston, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, Ann Arbor, MI,
Oakland, and Richmond, VA, as well as state police agencies for nine
states. Ninety-one police departments in the state of Connecticut alone are
collecting data under legislation passed there over a year ago.

A Gallup Poll conducted in December, 1999 indicated that 59 percent of the
American public believed racial profiling is widespread, and 81 percent
disapproved of its use. Last year, President Clinton ordered federal law
enforcement agencies to document the race and ethnic origin of people they
question, search, or arrest.

The ACLU of Washington is urging people to report incidents of racial
profiling via a form on the organization's Web site (www.aclu-wa.org). More
detailed information about the campaign against racial profiling is
available on the Web site.

___________________________________________________________________________

SEE ALSO:

* Supreme Court Considers Ban
  On Safe Abortion Procedures
  http://www.aclu.org/news/2000/n042500a.html

* ACLU Calls on Attorney General to Justify
  Use of Force in Removing Elian Gonzalez
  http://www.aclu.org/news/2000/n042400a.html

* ACLU Presses Forward in Unprecedented Lawsuit Charging
  Yeshiva University with Anti-Gay Housing Discrimination
  http://www.aclu.org/news/2000/n041900a.html

* Miami Federal Court to Consider Government's
  Use of "Secret Evidence" in Detention of Academic
  http://www.aclu.org/news/2000/n041700b.html

* Groups File Groundbreaking Lawsuit Against Kentucky and
  State-Funded Religious Group That Fired Lesbian Employee
  http://www.aclu.org/news/2000/n041700a.html

* Other Recent ACLU News Releases

04-20-00 -- ACLU Announces Student Winners of First-Ever Youth College
Scholarship
http://www.aclu.org/news/2000/n042000a.html

04-18-00 -- "Oh, Behave!" -- Iowa ACLU Turns Tables on Teacher Tattler
Plan
http://www.aclu.org/news/2000/n041800b.html

04-18-00 -- Noted Alabama Civil Rights Lawyer to Join Staff of ACLU of
Illinois
http://www.aclu.org/news/2000/n041800c.html

04-16-00 -- In Letter to D.C. Police, ACLU Warns of Possible
Constitutional
Violations at IMF Protests
http://www.aclu.org/news/2000/n041600a.html

04-13-00 -- ACLU Comments on Possible Restrictions of Media Coverage in
Elian Gonzalez Matter
http://www.aclu.org/news/2000/n041300a.html

04-13-00 -- City of Hollywood Urine Drug Testing Policy Declared
Unconstitutional by Federal Court
http://www.aclu.org/news/2000/n041300b.html

04-11-00 -- ACLU of Massachusetts Speaks Out on "High Stakes" Testing in
Public Schools
http://www.aclu.org/news/2000/n041100a.html

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