ACLU

tenants' rights
3:42 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

ACLU suit: Tenant screening company illegally flagged woman

SalFalko Flickr

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a woman who says her decades-old drug convictions cost her a chance to rent an apartment—a violation of Washington state law. 

And hundreds others may have been illegally rejected for apartments in the state because of unfair background checks. 

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Marijuana Legalization
5:33 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

ACLU, public health groups cautioning marijuana rulemakers

Backers of Washington's marijuana legalization law want public health concerns addressed in rules that will govern the new industry. One challenge is growing just the right amount to meet but not increase market demand.
Alexodus via Compfight Flickr via Compfight

How do you build a whole new industry – and undermine a black market -- without increasing its customer base?  

That’s the challenge state regulators are facing as they write the rules that will govern recreational marijuana in Washington. The American Civil Liberties Union is urging caution.

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Law
4:27 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Seattle surveillance cameras have ACLU's antennas up

A surveillance camera sits atop a light pole along Seattle's Alki Avenue.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

Civil liberties advocates are raising concerns about a network of 30 surveillance cameras installed along Seattle’s shoreline, purchased with a $5 million dollar federal grant. When the measure first came up in city council last year, Seattle Police Assistant Chief Paul McDonagh said it was all about Port security.  

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Police in Schools
4:19 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Cops in schools can’t search without warrants, Wash. high court rules

The Washington Supreme Court ruled that police officers based at schools are still police officers.
Arkdog Flickr

Police officers working in schools can’t necessarily search a student without a warrant, even though a teacher usually can. That’s the upshot of a ruling by the Washington State Supreme Court out Thursday, in a case involving a student at Robinswood High in Bellevue and the murky legal realm of cops in schools.

The Bellevue Police Department has five officers working exclusively in the schools. In this case, one of them caught the student with a bag of marijuana, arrested him, and then searched his locked bag without permission.

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Gangs
5:05 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

ACLU opposes King County anti-gang proposal

A proposal to fight gangs in King County is coming under fire from civil liberties groups. Among other things, a proposed county ordinance would make it illegal to coerce someone into joining a gang.

King County Council members says they want to make the county unfriendly to gangs, but there isn't agreement on how to do that.

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Washington State Legislature
8:11 am
Fri April 15, 2011

Feds put brakes on controversial medical-pot dispensaries law

A new law that would legalize medical-marijuana dispensaries and growers in Washington has already passed both chambers of the legislature in Olympia.  But it looks like it won't ever take effect.

That's because the state's top federal prosecutors have threatened to crack down if it goes forward.

In a letter to Governor Chris Gregoire, U.S. Attorneys Jenny Durkan of Seattle and Michael Ormsby of Spokane write that the bill would undermine drug enforcement

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Law and Justice
3:03 pm
Thu March 31, 2011

Feds launch civil rights investigation of Seattle Police

A protester named Redweezil holds up a photo of John T. Williams, a Native woodcarver killed by Seattle Police officer Ian Birk in August 2010. The killing sparked protests and was among the events prompting the ACLU to call for a federal investigation.
Ted S. Warren AP

Update 2:55 p.m.

The federal Department of Justice is launching a full-scale investigation into possible discrimination and excessive use of force in the Seattle Police Department. The probe will review the department’s policies, practices and behavior.

The investigation will look for what’s called a “pattern or practice” of civil rights violations in how the Seattle police use force, especially against minorities.

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Metro Transit
2:54 pm
Wed January 19, 2011

Lawsuit over Metro bus ad

This is the ad the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign was set to place on Metro buses in December, 2010. King County decided not to allow the ad and is now the target of a lawsuit.
ACLU Legal Exhibit

King County is being sued over its refusal to allow a controversial ad on Metro buses. The advertisement, sponsored by the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign, reads:  “Israeli War Crimes.Your Tax Dollars at Work.”

County officials originally agreed to the ad in December, but changed their mind when news of the campaign sparked international criticism and concerns about violence.

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