PHILADELPHIA – The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania reacted today to the death of Sean Ryan Hake, a 23-year-old transgender man who was shot and killed by police in Sharon, Pennsylvania, on Friday. The following can be attributed to Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania.
PITTSBURGH - The ACLU of Pennsylvania and Reed Smith LLP reached a settlement with the city of Greensburg on behalf of a resident and his former attorney, who were sued by the city after they pursued an unsuccessful federal civil rights case against the city and four of its police officers. Greensburg denied any liability or wrongdoing but agreed to dismiss the suit against the men. The city’s insurance carrier also agreed to pay them $98,000 in damages and attorneys’ fees.
PITTSBURGH - The ACLU of Pennsylvania, the Abolitionist Law Center (ALC), the Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project (PILP), and Reed Smith LLP joined forces today in filing claims in federal court challenging the inhumane way officials treat pregnant women held at the Allegheny County Jail. The lawsuit alleges that jail officials routinely place pregnant women in solitary confinement for extended periods of time without justification, knowing full well that this practice can harm the health of the women and their pregnancies.
“Public trust in policing is built through transparency and accountability. The commonwealth’s district attorneys have offered some common sense approaches to officer-involved shootings, and they can also go further than these guidelines to build public trust.
HARRISBURG – Today Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf vetoed legislation to criminally charge public officials who identify police officers who seriously injure or kill someone within 30 days of the incident. Introduced by Representative Martina White (R-Philadelphia), House Bill 1538 created a new second-degree misdemeanor for violations of the act. Only district attorneys and the Attorney General were exempt from the public blackout demanded by the legislation.
On the day after election day, students were recorded walking through the hallway of York County School of Technology shouting “white power” while carrying a Trump campaign sign. Preliminary reports indicate that this was part of a recent pattern of race-based harassment and bullying of students of color at the school. Parents of several students of color responded to the latest incident by taking their children home from school Thursday because they did not feel safe.
HARRISBURG – Late last night the Pennsylvania Senate passed legislation to charge public officials with a crime for identifying a police officer who has used force against someone. The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania criticized the bill for diminishing transparency at a time when communities want answers about violent incidents.
HARRISBURG – The Senate of Pennsylvania today passed legislation to force local governments to honor detention requests from federal immigration authorities, a move that the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania said will inevitably lead to illegal detentions and costly litigation.
HARRISBURG – A Pennsylvania Senate committee today voted in favor of legislation to withhold key information from the public after police officers use force against people. The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania criticized the measure as “the antithesis of transparency” in a statement after the committee vote.
PHILADELPHIA - In a decision critical to the ability of poor defendants to receive an effective legal defense, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled yesterday that public defender clients have the right to sue counties to force them to provide adequate funding to their public defender’s offices.