The Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is filing a lawsuit against the Providence Police Department. The ACLU says the department violated the rights of two protesters outside a campaign fundraiser for Gina Raimondo.
Last year Shannah Kurland was arrested for refusing to move during a protest at Roger Williams Park against then-gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo. Kurland said she was moved so far away from the event, more than 250 feet, that her protest was ineffectual; violating her rights to free speech and public demonstration.
Protestors will gather in downtown Providence Monday night to put a spotlight on violent police actions against people of color. A loose coalition of residents is organizing the march to express solidarity with Ferguson, Missouri and 43 students missing in Mexico.
Ferguson is where a white police officer shot and killed a black 18-year-old. In Mexico, 43 students disappeared. It’s alleged they were killed by a drug gang working with local police.
The march starts at 7:00 pm in Burnside Park in downtown Providence and will make its way up to the Statehouse.
The Warwick Police department will be embedding a mental health professional on its force. The idea is to replicate a program in Providence, and there’s new data about how that program is working.
The Warwick program will be similar to the one in Providence, where a mental health team member rides along with cops to reach out to people in crisis and make an evaluation on the scene when needed. The so-called “community diversion clinician” tries to help people avoid jail when mental health treatment could be the better option.
There have been a series of recent media reports about shootings and other violent incidents in Providence. The issue has also become part of the debate in race to choose a new Providence mayor. Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements joins us now to discuss what police are doing to address the violence and what may be behind it. Clements spoke with Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison.
Lieutenant Colonel Michael Winquist, of the Rhode Island State Police, has been announced as Cranston’s new police chief. The appointment comes following a difficult period for the department.
Winquist steps into the position following the retirement of former chief Marco Palombo Jr. Palombo left in the midst of a scandal during which police officers ticketed cars in wards of city councilors who voted against a police contract. The search for his successor also drew controversy, with some groups claiming that the search criteria effectively ruled out candidates of color.
The city of Providence has adopted a new “one-strike” policy for strip clubs. The new ordinance is aimed at cracking down on prostitution.
The Providence City council approved the ordinance after pushback from the Mayor’s office and the police department over an incident at Cheaters Gentlemen’s club last year. Police found a fourteen year old girl working at the club, and soliciting for sex. The city’s board of licenses gave Cheaters a five-thousand dollar fine, and suspended their license for 45-days. But critics said that was little more than a slap on the wrist.
East Providence authorities were called just after midnight on Monday when a tugboat in distress was spotted off Sabin Point. The boat had been reported stolen and was partially submerged when the search for anyone involved began. Sgt. Kenneth Luke says police in East Providence are still investigating the incident.
"D.E.M., the Harbor Patrol, and everybody else came in and did their investigation. Our V.C.I. unit went out and looked for evidence and prints. Other than that we're still investigating."
Narragansett Town Manager Pamela Nolan says that an off-campus party attended by 800 to 1,000 University of Rhode Island students over the past weekend turned into a riot. Beer bottles were thrown and property was destroyed on Greene Lane where the riot took place. Nolan says that although the town residents were upset over the incident, it was out of the ordinary.