Providence Police

John Bender / RIPR

The Providence Police hope to outfit all officers on patrol with body cameras within the next several months. But a new federal grant will only cover half of the cost.

The Providence Police department has received $375,000 in matching grants from the U.S. Department of Justice. But city must come up with an equal amount of money to outfit all 250 of its patrol officers with body cameras.

In addition to the cost of the cameras, the department must also pay for digital storage of the video.

John Bender / RIPR

More than 100 supporters gathered at Providence City Hall Wednesday evening for the first public hearing on a proposed ordinance known as the Community Safety Act.

The CSA seeks to reduce potential racial profiling by city law enforcement.

The ordinance includes 12 central points, several of which are variations on state law and the current the Providence police code of conduct. Most expand the definition of racial profiling and procedures for handling police stops, said community organizer Vanessa Flores-Maldonando.

Chuck Hinman / RIPR

Providence poet Christopher Johnson is one of 20 candidates for Poet Laureate of Rhode Island. He is also facing charges of assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct after an encounter last spring with a Providence police officer. Johnson wrote about that encounter earlier this month for Motif Magazine, in an essay called Walking While Black. He spoke to Rhode Island Public Radio’s Chuck Hinman about his case.

Will Hart / Wikimedia Commons

Providence residents expressed mixed reactions Friday to a pair of deadly shootings of black men by police and the Dallas shooter, who killed five officers and wounded six others at a protest of police brutality.

Taking a break from his job on a construction site on Providence's West Side, resident Emmanuel Davids said he wasn’t surprised when he found out about the shootings of black men by police in Minnesota and Louisiana.

Providence police officials say they will conduct a full review of the arrest of a woman, pulled by her hair and punched several times by an officer. 

RIPR file photo

A Providence police officer was scheduled for arraignment Friday after his arrest on charges of  breaking and entering and larceny involving a company that distributes newspapers for The Providence Journal.

Officer Jesse Ferrell, a 19-year veteran of the department, is accused of breaking into a distribution center and taking materials that are usually delivered inside the newspaper to home-delivery customers.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island Hospital acknowledges there was a delay in providing the name of an employee suspected of assaulting a patient to the Providence Police. Hospital officials say they’re reviewing hospital practice to determine what caused the delay and prevent it from occurring in the future.

The employee is accused of inappropriately touching a patient. Hospital officials say they’re troubled by the allegation and will assist police with the criminal investigation.

RIPR FILE

As we celebrate the legacy of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders why we still haven’t made the progress that King envisioned.

Today is the day we honor King, the preacher and activist who pricked the conscience of a nation. 

Rhode Island faith, community and law enforcement leaders will gather tomorrow (Thursday, Oct. 29th) at Burnside Park near Kennedy Plaza in Providence to hold a prayer vigil to address violence.

The event is scheduled for 1 p.m.  A group of faith leaders, including Rev. Joyce Penfield, Pastor Jabulani McCalister, Rev. Don Anderson, Rabbi Wayne Franklin, Fr. Joseph Escobar, Imam Farid Ansari and Rev Chontelle Washington and Rev. Wayne Garganta will attend.

RIPR FILE

Once again, a Providence mayor is ensnarled in a bitter battle with a city employee union, in this case, the firefighters. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if the capital city should go back to the future with city workers.

RIPR file photo

One tragic trend that Providence has so far avoided is the soaring murder rates in American cities.

Rhode Island’s capital has been the scene of 10 murders to date this year, compared to 11 at this time last year. In 2013, there were 11 at this point in the year, according to Providence police spokeswoman Lindsay Lague.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said he was racially profiled by police "countless times" as a youth and young man in Rhode Island's capital city.

"It's just part of growing up in the city -- which is very unfortunate and sad," Elorza, a son of Guatemalan immigrants, said Thursday during a taping of Rhode Island Public Radio's Political Roundtable. "I've been pulled over a number of times, so I'm sensitive to that."

RIPR FILE

Today is the annual Martin Luther King Jr., holiday. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay ponders what we can do to advance King’s legacy in Rhode Island.

The great civil rights leader’s legacy will be celebrated across  Rhode Island today in song, sermon and remembrance.  Voices will echo with the strains of James Weldon Johnson’s `Lift Every Voice and Sing’ and that iconic anthem of the civil rights movement, `We Shall Overcome.’

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR FILE

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.

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