ACLU

John Bender / RIPR

The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island has filed a free speech lawsuit against the city of Providence.  The suit follows the arrest of a local musician.

 

62-year-old Manuel Pombo has been performing on the streets of Providence for the last 30 years. Pombo says he’s had a several run-ins with police, and in 2013 he was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Those charges were later dropped.

Elisabeth Harrison

The Rhode Island Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is again raising alarms bells about racial disparities in school suspensions. The group has released a new report citing little improvement in the 2013-2014 school year.  

According to the study, one out of every six black male students got suspended from a Rhode Island public school during the 2013-2014 school year,

The reports finds that statewide, suspension rates declined for white students but hit their highest level in a decade for Black, Hispanic and Native American students.

The Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has taken up the case of former Providence Phoenix news editor Phil Eil, suing the US Drug Enforcement Administration to try to gain the release of thousands of pages of court documents in a major drug-prescription trial.

The ACLU said Eil has been stymied for more than three years in trying to obtain the documents.

Voters will decide on Tuesday whether to approve a Constitutional Convention, known as the ConCon. This is a delegation of elected representative who would recommend changes to the state’s constitution.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Scott MacKay gathered two men for a lively debate: Phil West, retired Executive Director of Common Cause of Rhode Island for the ConCon and Steven Brown, Executive Director of the ACLU of Rhode Island against it.

A bill halting a controversial test-based graduation requirement will become law without a signature from Governor Lincoln Chafee.

Chafee declined to sign the bill but also declined a veto.

The bill bars the use of standardized test scores for a high school diploma until at least 2017. State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist, who opposed the bill, vowed to keep pushing school leaders to improve student performance.

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