civil rights

Hartford Police Department

Hartford police arrested two men last week after a wild car chase that began in the city, ended in West Hartford, and left at least one officer injured. But the case has taken a turn, and state prosecutors said they are investigating whether police used excessive force at the time of the arrest -- "kicking or stomping one of the arrestees after that person was handcuffed," according to the Hartford Police Department.

Jeff Kern / Creative Commons

The country grapples with the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history after a massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida early Sunday morning left 50 people dead and wounded another 53. This tragedy brings together several big issues of the last few years: guns, gay rights, and terrorism.

Steve Lyon / Creative Commons

A new study of recent police data finds significant racial disparities in traffic stops in some Connecticut police departments. In this third in a series of stories, WNPR has this report on the analysis that was released this week. 

A second trial related to the death of Freddie Gray opens Thursday in Baltimore, where police Officer Edward Nero faces multiple misdemeanors in connection with the case.

Gray died April 19, 2015, after suffering a broken neck while in police custody — specifically, while being transported in a police van, medical examiners found. The following month, prosecutors announced charges against six police officers in connection with Gray's death.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The state of Connecticut is releasing new data this week on police traffic stops and racial disparities. In advance of that release, WNPR is taking a closer look at the interactions between police and the people they pull over.

In this second story in a series, we visited a police department that has taken a hard look at its numbers and made some changes.

In South Carolina, a federal grand jury has indicted a white, former police officer on civil rights charges over the shooting death of an unarmed black man last April.

Chris Yarzab / Flickr/Creative Commons

The state of Connecticut is releasing new data this week on police traffic stops and racial disparities. In advance of that release, WNPR is taking a closer look at the interactions between police and the people they pull over.

In this first story of a series, we speak with a man who is suing the Bridgeport police for an allegedly unlawful search. 

Updated at 6:20 p.m. ET

After North Carolina's governor filed a lawsuit asking federal courts to keep in place a controversial law that places limits on transgender access to bathrooms, the U.S. Justice Department responded with a lawsuit of its own.

The controversial North Carolina law that prevents transgender people from using public bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity, and limits protection for LGBT people, violates federal civil rights law and can't be enforced, the U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday.

Ben Burgraff

In 1800, James Callender, pamphleteer and journalist, wrote this about John Adams, one of America's most revered founding father:

It is not so well known, as it should be, that this federal gem [John Adams], this apostle of the parsons of Connecticut, is not only a repulsive pedant, a gross hypocrite, and an unprincipled oppressor, but that he is, in private life, one of the most egregious fools upon the continent. 

He went on to "enquire by what species of madness America submitted to accept, as her president, a person without abilities, and without virtues."

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

As a small boy, Robert Cotto, Jr. moved with his family to Hartford, where most of his extended family was living in the city’s North End.

Teen Forced to Undergo Cancer Treatment Suffers Setback

Apr 18, 2016
Jackie Fortin

A Connecticut teenager who was forced by the courts to undergo chemotherapy for her cancer says a new mass has been found in her lungs.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The top federal prosecutor for Connecticut is holding a meeting this week with Muslim and Sikh community leaders to discuss issues of concern to their communities. 

Mike Steele / Creative Commons

In The Slave's Cause, author and scholar Manisha Sinha writes a new history of abolition -- a history more complex than the one taught in most American classrooms. This hour, Sinha takes us inside her book for a look at abolition's lesser known past.  

Beth Cortez-Neavel / Creative Commons

When was the last time you sent a letter? Not an email, but a real, tangible piece of mail? If your answer is "not recently," you’re not alone.

Except for the occasional birthday or holiday card, most of us haven’t sent -- or received -- good, old-fashioned snail mail in a very long time. 

Keoni Cabral / Creative Commons

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission announced it will hold hearings to see whether discrimination played a role in the handling of Flint’s water crisis. The decision came early last week, amid allegations of environmental racism against the city’s largely black community.

This hour -- from Flint, Michigan to New Haven, Connecticut -- we learn about the environmental justice issues affecting America's low-income communities of color. 

Spyder Monkey / Wikimedia Commons

This all started with a scratchy phone message from a guy named Bobby Duley. He had been making regular visits to his mother convalescing at a rehab facility in Old Saybrook. Down the hall in one of the public rooms, he discovered a woman who was intimately involved in the civil rights marches that began in 1966 in the south.

Howard County Library System / Creative Commons

An upcoming lawsuit is set to determine whether Connecticut should provide all students with access to preschool. 

On the second day of deliberations in the trial of a Baltimore police officer who's accused of involuntary manslaughter and other charges in the death of Freddie Gray, the jury sent a note to the judge saying they're deadlocked.

Judge Barry G. Williams instructed the jurors to keep working toward a verdict after receiving that note Tuesday afternoon, reports NPR's Jennifer Ludden. The panel began its deliberations in the trial of Officer William Porter on Monday afternoon. They have adjourned their second session and will return to the jury room Wednesday morning.

A rare collection of photos of the 1965 civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama are now on display at the Providence Public Library.

On Wednesday the photographer, Steven Somerstein, will deliver a talk about his experience taking the photos, witnessing the march, and interacting with influential black leaders of the time including, Martin Luther King Jr, James Baldwin, and Rosa Parks.

Donald Trump made a drastic call on Monday for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."

Trump's call comes one day after President Obama's address from the Oval Office in the aftermath of the San Bernardino, Calif., shootings that were carried out by an apparently self-radicalized married couple. The male shooter was an American citizen, born in the United States. His wife was born in Pakistan but was in the U.S. legally on a visa for fiancees.

The United States Department of Justice will investigate whether the Chicago Police Department has systematically violated the civil rights of citizens when it uses force and deadly force.

In a press conference on Monday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that her department was launching a so-called "pattern or practice" investigation after it conducted a preliminary review.

United Nations Photo / Creative Commons

People quarantined in the United States of America for suspicion of Ebola had their rights violated for reasons that weren't medically justified. That's the conclusion of a new report from the American Civil Liberties Union and Yale University.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott has fired Senior Deputy Ben Fields over the white deputy's violent arrest of a black student at a South Carolina high school, which was filmed by several students. Lott said Fields broke department policy in the arrest.

"It's not what I expect from my deputies, and it's not what I tolerate from my deputies," Lott said.

The sheriff said he's glad students documented the arrest with videos, which he said were helpful in reviewing the case.

We've updated our earlier post with the news.

Steven Depolo / Creative Commons

Women have come a long way in the fight for equality, but the battle is not over yet. This hour, we take a look at how women’s funds are helping to advance women’s rights and break down gender barriers.

Baltimore Police arrested a dozen demonstrators who had remained inside City Hall through the early morning.

The protest began last night during a hearing on the permanent appointment of Baltimore Police Interim Commissioner Kevin Davis. As the AP reports, the activists don't want the city council to move forward with the appointment before a series of demands — including changes to police tactics and investments in education — are met.

It was 60 years ago this week that an all-white jury acquitted two white men in the murder of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black boy visiting Mississippi from Chicago.

The case shocked the nation — drawing attention to the brutal treatment of African-Americans in the Deep South, and the failure of the justice system. The men later confessed to killing Till for whistling at a white woman.

Lee Werling / Flickr

With recent incidents like the ones in Ferguson and Baltimore, the issue of police training and leadership has come under the spotlight. Police commissioners and chiefs have either been fired or forced to resign due to some of these incidents. But police leadership may not be solely responsible for the practices and policies employed by cops on the street.

DavidsonScott15 / Creative Commons

Connecticut police are still stopping black and Hispanic drivers at disproportionately high rates, according to new data released from Central Connecticut State University.

It was just after sunset on a muggy Friday evening earlier this month, and my wife and I were standing outside a Hardee's in Seneca, S.C. We were at a vigil for Zachary Hammond, a white teenager killed by a police officer during an attempted drug arrest in the restaurant's parking lot, three miles from where we live and teach at Clemson University.

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