Police Practice Issues The ACLU of Rhode Island is Involved With - Court Cases, Legislation, News Releases


Protecting Civil Liberties in Rhode Island for Over 50 Years


Police Practices

Police generally protect and serve the public, but abuses of police power continue to be a problem in Rhode Island, particularly in low-income communities and in communities of color.  The ACLU works on various police misconduct issues, such as stop-and-frisk tactics, surveillance, police brutality, and withholding of public police records from citizens.

Police Misconduct in the News

  • Mar, 18, 2019: Court Denies ACLU Motion Seeking Access to Pawtucket Police Misconduct Records
  • Mar, 12, 2019: ACLU and Progreso Latino Applaud Central Falls for Repealing Youth Curfew
  • Dec, 04, 2018: Groups Urge Repeal of Central Falls Curfew Ordinance

View All News Releases Related to Police Misconduct »

Police Misconduct Related Court Cases

2018: Cox v. Goncalves
Category: Active Case    Open Government    Police Practices    

About This Case:
This is a lawsuit against the Pawtucket Police over the Department's refusal to release reports of alleged police officer misconduct generated by its Internal Affairs Division (IAD). The suit argues that the Department's refusal to release the records is a violation of the state’s Access to Public Records Act (APRA).

Information on another pending APRA lawsuit against the Pawtucket Police, Lyssikatos v. King (2017),  can be found here.

Current Status:
Lawsuit filed in November 2018.

ACLU Cooperating Attorney:
James D. Cullen

More information related to the Pawtucket Police Department:

Supporting Documents
2018: Richer v. N. Smithfield Police Department
Category: Active Case    Due Process    Police Practices    Right to Petition & Protest    

About This Case:
This is a federal lawsuit on behalf of a North Smithfield resident, challenging the police department’s refusal to remove from its files a note falsely claiming that he is “dangerous,” “psychologically unstable,” and has numerous weapons at his house. Police officials have acknowledged that they have no basis for the claims contained in the note, which was uncovered while the ACLU was litigating another pending lawsuit on behalf of the resident, Jason Richer.

Current Status:
Lawsuit filed in October 2018.

ACLU Cooperating Attorneys:
Thomas W. Lyons, Rhiannon S. Huffman

Supporting Documents

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