police

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung is opposing the immediate release of a State Police review that found "deep problems" within the Cranston Police Department, including complaints about political interference by Fung and his staff.

Elisabeth Harrison

After the release of a video showing a Texas traffic stop that escalates into an arrest for Sandra Bland, an African-American woman who was later found dead in a prison cell, some Rhode Islanders say they are disturbed, but not surprised. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison has our story.

In a patch of shade across the street from Pawtucket City Hall, Dwayne Adams sighs deeply and says yes, he has heard about Sandra Bland.

Susan Greenhalgh / RIPR

Salty Brine Beach in Narragansett has reopened following a blast that occurred over the weekend. The event injured a 60-year beach goer, who has thrown by the blast into a rocky jetty. The woman sustained fractured ribs, and has been released from the hospital.

State police say they’ve found no evidence of a explosive device or gas line. The agency closed the beach Saturday. Along with the state police, the fire marshal and the Department of Environmental Management also took part in investigations.

John Bender / RIPR

Hundreds of protestors marched through the streets of Providence Saturday demanding better relations with law enforcement. The event took place in solidarity with similar demonstrations in Baltimore.

Flanked by police officers, community members, organizers and activists marched through the streets carrying signs that read "black lives matter," "end police brutality," and simply "resist."

The demonstration was spurred by the recent death of Freddie Gray, a black man in Baltimore who died following injuries he sustained while in police custody.

A protest is expected in Providence Saturday to show support for Baltimore residents, who have been calling for justice in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, a black man who died from injuries sustained in police custody.

Baltimore officials announced Friday that six police officers will face charges.  

In Providence, rally organizer Marco McWilliams say he shares concerns raised in Baltimore about the relationship between police and minority residents. 

John Bender / RIPR

Cranston police have begun special training to help them work better with people with autism. The training is geared toward preventing a police encounter from escalating.

Every Cranston police officer will be trained to recognize the signs of autism. And they’ll be equipped to respond to emergencies involving adults or kids with autism. Cranston police Lieutenant Mark Freeborn says the training should help avoid the misinterpretation that autistic behavior is disobedient, or aggressive.

URI To Host Panel On Policing Wednesday

Apr 8, 2015
John Bender / RIPR

The University of Rhode Island’s Providence campus is hosting a panel on policing Wednesday. The talk will bring local and national experts together to discuss the history of policing and racial profiling. Organizer Marc Levitt is moderating the panel.

“The questions I’m going to be asking are about who gets policed, why they get policed, what the history of policing is, and what methods are being considered for policing in the future.”

Levitt says the panel on race and police is part of a series on urban issues at URI. The discussion begins at 7 p.m.

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.

State police say minimal and appropriate force was used when arresting a protester in Providence last week.  The Providence NAACP called for an investigation.

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.

RIPR FILE

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.

John Bender / RIPR

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.

New Ordinance Cracks Down On Providence Strip Clubs

Aug 13, 2014

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.

Stolen Tugboat Submerged, Stranded Off Sabin Point

Jun 3, 2014

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."

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