The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana mounts epic struggles to ensure everyone in America gets to enjoy the rights, freedoms and liberties that the Constitution guarantees. Since our formation, we have been involved in all aspects of the struggle for racial justice across the United States.
August 24, 2016
Late yesterday The Indianapolis Star and other news media outlets reported on a police shooting of an Indianapolis man. The following statement may be attributed to ACLU of Indiana Executive Director Jane Henegar:
"The shooting yesterday by IMPD is a tragedy. Our sympathies go out to the victim and to his family. There is still much more to be learned as this investigation unfolds. In this and all such incidents, the ACLU of Indiana encourages law enforcement officials to conduct a thorough and objective investigation and to be transparent and forthcoming with releasing information to the public."
July 7, 2016
The deaths of Black men and women at the hands of police are grim reminders that race and inequality pervade every aspect of American life in a way that limits the lives of Black people and their access to the most basic rights in American society. Systemic racial issues in housing, education, environment, employment, criminal justice and income inequality persist and feed into police violence that permeate our communities.
Unfortunately, police violence against Black people occurs everywhere, including Indiana. More needs to be known, for example, about the circumstances surrounding fatal shootings of several Black men by Indianapolis police. And as we mourn the two most recent shootings in our country, Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in a Minneapolis suburb, we cannot content ourselves simply with mourning. We must rise together and say: "THIS STOPS TODAY."
This year nationally, the ACLU launched a comprehensive approach to criminal justice reform called the Campaign for Smart Justice to stop the vast expansion of a system that, over the last four decades, has ruined families and lives, wasted taxpayer dollars on methods that do not work and been rife with racial disparities. For too long, communities have been torn apart by racial profiling, police tactics such as stop-and-frisk and neighborhood sweeps that capture low-level offenders, and a lack of police accountability.
For the last four decades, this country has relentlessly expanded our criminal justice system, needlessly throwing away too many lives and trillions of taxpayer dollars.
Our nation's addiction to incarceration is unsustainable, ineffective, and inhumane.
We need better solutions to the problems our nation faces — mass incarceration is not the answer. We don't have to put up with an unproductive, wasteful criminal justice system that is dominated by racial disparities.
It's time to end the failed war on drugs, abolish mandatory minimum laws and reduce extreme sentencing for petty crimes. Let's not build any more expensive prisons — instead, let's invest in strategies that actually make communities safer.
We're at a critical moment in this country, and together, we have the chance to do better — will you pledge to be a part of the solution?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 24, 2014
ST. LOUIS, Mo. — The grand jury in Ferguson, Mo., has declined to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson on charges in the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown. The following is reaction from Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri:
"To build trust, we need a democratic system of policing where our communities have an equal say in the way their neighborhoods are policed. Collaboration, transparency, and communication between police and communities around the shared goals of equality, fairness and public safety is the path forward." —Jeffrey Mittman, Executive Director, ACLU of Missouri
"The grand jury's decision does not negate the fact that Michael Brown's tragic death is part of an alarming national trend of officers using excessive force against people of color, often during routine encounters. Yet in most cases, the officers and police departments are not held accountable. While many officers carry out their jobs with respect for the communities they serve, we must confront the profound disconnect and disrespect that many communities of color experience with their local law enforcement.