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civil rights

Editor's Note: This story includes videos and descriptions of violent encounters between police and civilians, as well as language that may not be appropriate for all readers.

A panel of federal judges ruled on Friday that three of Texas' congressional districts are illegal, violating the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act. The panel found that Republicans had used race as a motivating factor in redistricting.

Judges Xavier Rodriguez and Orlando Garcia wrote the court's decision, which comes after a protracted and complex legal battle that began when the new districts were drawn in 2011, following the last census.

Fighting For The Vote

Mar 8, 2017
FBI/wikimedia

Fifty-two years ago this week, 600 peaceful protesters gathered in Selma, Alabama for what would become known as The Bloody Sunday March. Their goal was to draw attention to the importance of protecting the vote, not just for African Americans, but all Americans. 

Treason!

Mar 1, 2017
David / Flickr

Of all the crimes defined by law, only one is mentioned in the U.S. Constitution: Treason! This distinction, however, was not meant to deter dissent, but rather to protect it. Knowing well how England had levied the charge against those whose voices they found subversive, our founders sought to ensure the citizens of their newly formed nation would always be free to disagree with the government.

The Trump administration is rescinding protections for transgender students in public schools.

The move by the Justice and Education departments reverses guidance the Obama administration publicized in May 2016, which said a federal law known as Title IX protects the right of transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identities.

The ACLU of Connecticut wants a study on how police in cities and towns across the state are implementing the use of body cameras.

Executive Director David McGuire testified before Connecticut lawmakers this week about a bill that would ask for a study on how that money is being spent. He said that $10 million was bonded in 2015 for the purchase of body cameras but that municipalities have yet to take advantage of it.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

A 23-year-old man who was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents in Seattle on Feb. 10 says his constitutional rights have been violated, and he is suing the U.S. government for his release.

Daniel Ramirez Medina, who is currently being held by immigration authorities in Tacoma, Wash., is registered with the U.S. government under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

Courtesy Lisa Fukui

President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration and his campaign talk about requiring Muslims to register in a database has sparked protests around the country and raised legal questions. For some, today’s political climate reignites memories of World War II, when the country sent Japanese-Americans to internment camps.

Photo courtesy of Lisa Fukui

President Trump’s executive order on immigration and talk of a Muslim registry during his campaign re-ignited memories of World War II, when the country sent Japanese-Americans to internment camps.

This hour, we revisit this history and learn why the University of Connecticut opened up its campus to some young internees.

Lori Mack / WNPR

A traveling exhibit, now in New Haven, aims to give people the opportunity to experience solitary confinement and learn about its effects. It includes a replica of a prison cell and people are invited to go "Inside the Box."

Md saad andalib / Creative Commons

It’s been nearly 50 years since a US Supreme Court decision put an end to state laws banning interracial marriage.

This hour, we learn about the civil rights case, Loving v. Virginia. Has society’s perceptions really changed from that landmark decision in 1967?

The Justice Department says an investigation has found Chicago police are systematically violating the civil rights of people in the city through excessive use of force, poor oversight and inadequate training of officers.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the investigation's findings on Friday, saying the DOJ had concluded there was ample evidence the Chicago Police Department "engages in a pattern or practice of the use of excessive force," in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

Where the first day of Jeff Sessions' attorney general confirmation hearing focused on what the Alabama senator's relationship would be with the president if confirmed, the second day focused on his own past.

Sessions, a former Alabama attorney general, has a reputation for being tough on crime, but civil rights advocates testified that his reputation was made on the backs of vulnerable groups. Lawmakers who have worked with him, on the other hand, said they knew a just and fair man.

"We must bend" the arc of the moral universe

AMProSoft / Flickr

If there's one thing we've never been good at, it's limiting ourselves. We eat too much junk food, watch too much T.V., and engage in all manner of self-indulgence. So why then, do we continue to adhere to the limitations of monogamy? If love is so grand, why not celebrate a lifestyle which encourages loving multiple partners?

Femunity / Flickr

As the men of Apollo 11 returned home to ticker tape parades, the women who made their journey possible worked quietly behind the scenes. Since its founding in 1958, NASA has been heavily reliant on the skills of such women, many of whom have gone unrecognized for their bravery and hard work.

Brad Greenlee / Creative Commons

We're all a little tired of this election. I vacillate between excitement, fear, anger, fatigue - sometimes all in the same hour. What will become of the country after this election?Will we accept the results? Will there be 'revolution?' Will Congress come together to legislate in the best interests of the country? 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Retired major league baseball player and Hartford resident Doug Glanville has been appointed to the state panel that sets standards for police officers. 

The Hartford police officer who allegedly kicked a handcuffed suspect in the head said he did so in order to get the suspect to lay flat on the ground. The officer said he lacked the latex gloves he needed to force the suspect down with his hands, so he used his foot, instead, according to a newly-released police report

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Last week, Hartford police released a video of one of its officers kicking a handcuffed man in the head. On Monday night, about 40 people marched from city hall to the home of the mayor to protest the police use of excessive force. 

Hartford police arrested Ricardo Perez and Emilio Diaz after a wild car chase that began in Hartford and ended in West Hartford back in June. But it’s what happened after the car chase that has led to a state investigation of the possible use of excessive force. 

Earlier this week, police shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, N.C., sparking days of protests and conflicting accounts of the moment that led to his death. Amid the demonstrations, one chant in particular rippled through the crowds: "Release the tapes."

Now, Charlotte police have done just that.

As officials in Charlotte, N.C., consider when, if, and how to release video of the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott earlier this week, lawyers for the family have released what they say is eyewitness video taken by Scott's wife.

A black man who runs from police shouldn't necessarily be considered suspicious — and merely might be trying to avoid "the recurring indignity of being racially profiled," the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court says.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Second chances are often talked about in relation to conversations about prison reform, but rarely do we hear from those who actually need them. This hour, we take a look at Connecticut’s “Second Chance Society” through the eyes of a former inmate

Starting in 2018, it will be illegal in Massachusetts for an employer to force prospective employees to divulge how much they were making at their last job.

It’s part of a sweeping new equal pay law signed by Gov. Charlie Baker Monday.

Massachusetts becomes the first state to forbid employers from asking job applicants how much they made at their previous jobs. The goal is to prevent women from being stuck in a cycle of low salaries.

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