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.’
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.
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.
Street crime is once again a political topic in Providence. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time for nightclub owners to better control their rowdy customers.
Federal Hill is more restaurant theme park than Little Italy these days. While the Providence neighborhood is dear to older generations of Italian-Americans, it is no longer the fulcrum of such revered up-from-poverty Rhode Islanders as former Sen. John Pastore, who grew up there.
So Buddy Cianci is back in the campaign for Providence mayor. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay reminds us that he isn’t the only candidate.
Every newsroom used to have a crusty city editor who berated young reporters. Mine was a revered Providence Journal editor named Al Johnson who barked, ``put them in the ambulance before you take them to the hospital’’ when he wanted a story about a car accident.