Safe & Free

The ACLU wholeheartedly believes that we can be safe and free. There has never been a more urgent need to preserve fundamental privacy protections and our system of checks and balances than the need we face today, as illegal government spying and government-sponsored torture programs transcend the bounds of law and our most treasured values in the name of national security.

Muskegon Joins Nationwide Push for Community Control Over Police Surveillance

Muskegon Joins Nationwide Push for Community Control Over Police Surveillance

2016-09-21 00:00:00

MUSKEGON—Muskegon city officials announced today that they are launching legislative efforts to bring transparency to the acquisition and use of local police surveillance technologies for the first time. The measures, which are influenced by a set of guiding principles released by a diverse coalition of 17 national organizations today, include mandating city commission approval and a public hearing process that maximizes community input into surveillance technology decisions.

Appeals Court Rules for ACLU of Michigan in FOIA Case Against Detroit Public Schools

Appeals Court Rules for ACLU of Michigan in FOIA Case Against Detroit Public Schools

2016-01-07 00:00:00

In a key victory for government transparency, a state appeals court this week ruled that Detroit Public Schools must disclose the number of student discipline cases that have been referred to the Detroit police or the district’s internal police department.

The decision in Rodd Monts vs. Detroit Public Schools reverses an earlier district court ruling that upheld the district's claim that it did not have the information, a request for which was filed the ACLU of Michigan under the state Freedom of Information Act. A copy of the ruling can be read below:

State Police Using Cellphone Spy Gear to Catch Criminals

State Police Using Cellphone Spy Gear to Catch Criminals

2015-10-23 00:00:00

State police in Michigan have been secretly using hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of cell site simulator equipment to locate and track cell phones since at least 2006, according to records obtained by the ACLU and ACLU of Michigan. And although the agency justified its initial purchase of the surveillance gear as "vital to the war on terrorism," the records show that the department used its cell site simulators in 128 run-of-the-mill investigations last year—not a single one of which was for terrorism. The records also highlight the continuing problem of excessive secrecy about use of this invasive tracking equipment.

Cell site simulators, commonly known as Stingrays, can precisely locate and track phones by mimicking cell phone towers and forcing phones in the area to transmit their unique identifying information. Because these devices raise serious privacy concerns, the ACLU has been tracking their purchase and use by law enforcement agencies across the country.

The records show that the State Police spent more than $200,000 in 2006 to purchase a Stingray, Kingfish, and related cellular tracking equipment. That purchase was paid for by a federal Department of Homeland Security grant. In a document justifying the purchase, MSP asserted, "This equipment will allow the State to track the physical location of a suspected terrorist who is using wireless communications as part of their operation." Yet, according to a January 2015 breakdown of one year's worth of Stingray deployments, that's not how the technology is being deployed. Out of 128 investigations where MSP used Stingrays in 2014, 42 were related to homicides, 30 for burglaries and robberies, 12 for assaults, 11 for missing persons, and the rest for a mix of offenses including drug crimes, obstructing police, and fraud. Not a single terrorism investigation among them.

READ MORE: ACLU National

Statement on Appointment of Bush Administration Attorney to Michigan Supreme Court

Statement on Appointment of Bush Administration Attorney to Michigan Supreme Court

2015-10-01 00:00:00

DETROIT – In a press conference today, Governor Rick Snyder officially announced his appointment of University of Michigan legal professor Joan Larsen to the Michigan Supreme Court. From January 2002 through May 2003, Larsen served as deputy assistant U.S. attorney general in the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel. During her tenure, the OLC weakened the rule of law by issuing several legal opinions authorizing torture, indefinite detention, warrantless wiretapping, and other abuses of power.

American Woman Profiled, Removed from Plane and Strip Searched

American Woman Profiled, Removed from Plane and Strip Searched

2015-04-24 00:00:00

On September 11, 2011, a woman of Middle Eastern and Jewish descent named Shoshana Hebshi was sitting in the same row as two men of Indian descent on a Frontier Airlines flight from Denver to Detroit. When the Indian men got up to use the bathroom at the same time, someone reported their behavior as suspicious.

After the plane landed in Detroit, armed federal officials took not only the two men, but also Ms. Hebshi into custody at the airport jail.

CIA Spies on U-M Professor/Bush Critic in Attempt To Discredit Him

CIA Spies on U-M Professor/Bush Critic in Attempt To Discredit Him

2013-07-29 00:00:00

The New York Times printed a front-page story in 2011 about a former CIA agent who claimed that the Bush administration asked the CIA to collect damaging information on University of Michigan Professor Juan Cole, a prominent critic of the Iraq War.

When the CIA refused to respond to the ACLU request for documents about the spying, the ACLU filed a lawsuit in federal court under the Freedom of Information Act.

The case settled in July 2013 after the government released numerous documents and agreed to pay attorneys’ fees.

ACLU of Michigan Legislative Docket: Privacy and Technology

ACLU of Michigan Legislative Docket: Privacy and Technology

2014-04-10 00:00:00

The ACLU maintains a presence in Lansing that enables us to pass policies that expand civil liberties or prevent the passage of policies that are hostile to civil liberties. Through traditional lobbying techniques lobbying, advocacy, and advocacy the legislative program seeks to advance and protect our civil liberties.

The ACLU of Michigan’s legislative program works on a breadth of issues. To give you an idea of what we’ve been up to, we have provided a brief summary, our position on the issue and where the bill is currently situation in the legislative process.

ACLU of Michigan Legislative Docket: Poverty

ACLU of Michigan Legislative Docket: Poverty

2014-04-10 00:00:00

The ACLU maintains a presence in Lansing that enables us to pass policies that expand civil liberties or prevent the passage of policies that are hostile to civil liberties. Through traditional lobbying techniques lobbying, advocacy, and advocacy the legislative program seeks to advance and protect our civil liberties.

The ACLU of Michigan’s legislative program works on a breadth of issues. To give you an idea of what we’ve been up to, we have provided a brief summary, our position on the issue and where the bill is currently situation in the legislative process.

Why I Fear for My Brother—and Other Black Men, Too

Why I Fear for My Brother—and Other Black Men, Too

2015-09-02 00:00:00

Every day, it seems, some new report of a police officer killing a black man comes to light.

And every time one does, a little more despondence darkens my outlook.

It’s as if any action by a black boy or man that, in the mind of the officer, does not indicate complete and utter subjugation, is grounds for deadly force. As much as I depend and trust on the police to protect me, I can’t believe that this is the role that law enforcement was meant so serve.

In fact, I know that’s not the role that the police serve outside of the black community.

Pages

April 24, 2015
On September 11, 2011, a woman of Middle Eastern and Jewish descent named Shoshana Hebshi was sitting in the same row as two men of Indian descent on a...
July 29, 2013
The New York Times printed a front-page story in 2011 about a former CIA agent who claimed that the Bush administration asked the CIA to collect damaging...
July 06, 2007
CINCINNATI - In a 2-1 decision, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals today dismissed a legal challenge to the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance...
Michigan lawmakers will return to the Capitol this week seeking to make the second and final year of this 98th legislature one in which both they and their...
April 10, 2014
The ACLU maintains a presence in Lansing that enables us to pass policies that expand civil liberties or prevent the passage of policies that are hostile to...
April 10, 2014
The ACLU maintains a presence in Lansing that enables us to pass policies that expand civil liberties or prevent the passage of policies that are hostile to...
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MUSKEGON—Muskegon city officials announced today that they are launching legislative efforts to bring transparency to the acquisition and use of local police...
Michigan lawmakers will return to the Capitol this week seeking to make the second and final year of this 98th legislature one in which both they and their...
In a key victory for government transparency, a state appeals court this week ruled that Detroit Public Schools must disclose the number of student discipline...
State police in Michigan have been secretly using hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of cell site simulator equipment to locate and track cell phones...
October 01, 2015
DETROIT – In a press conference today, Governor Rick Snyder officially announced his appointment of University of Michigan legal professor Joan Larsen to the...
September 02, 2015 Black Lives Matter
Every day, it seems, some new report of a police officer killing a black man comes to light. And every time one does, a little more despondence darkens my...
April 24, 2015 Racial Profiling
DETROIT — The American Civil Liberties Union announced a settlement in its lawsuit filed on behalf of Shoshana Hebshi, a mother of two who was pulled off an...
April 22, 2015 Racial Justice Project
It’s almost four years from the day I was forced off an airplane in Detroit, held for hours in a cell, strip-searched, and interrogated without explanation....
March 10, 2015
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has become the latest federal appeals court to consider the question of whether law enforcement needs a warrant before it...
February 12, 2015 #TBT
With a history of civil liberties stretching back almost a century, the ACLU has got plenty of amazing cases for #TBT. Every Thursday, we'll be sharing updates...
June 19, 2014
DETROIT - The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan sent a letter to Detroit officials today, urging them to refrain from enforcing a citywide 6 p.m....
The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office recently became the first in Michigan to purchase a Hailstorm device, an incredibly powerful surveillance tool typically...
June 14, 2013 Weekly Rights Review
From couples trying to adopt children and to people on hard times: we're fighting discrimination against innocent people in Michigan. This week, hear up-to-the...
August 28, 2012 Government Surveillance
LANSING, Mich. – In a comprehensive report released today, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan asks the City of Lansing to remove all government...
September 07, 2011 Privacy, surveillance, 9/11, CIA
Ten years after the devastating attacks that took place on September 11, 2001, the ACLU joins all Americans in remembering the unspeakable losses suffered on...
July 21, 2011
DETROIT – The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Michigan today sued the FBI and Department of Justice for records related to the FBI's use of race...
May 16, 2011
Detroit – The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan commended Royal Oak officials for repealing an unconstitutional ordinance that punished peaceful...
April 07, 2011 Safe & Free
DETROIT – The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan filed 13 Freedom of Information Act requests today seeking records regarding the emergency financial...
December 15, 2010 Bill of Rights
Two hundred and nineteen years ago today, the United States ratified the Bill of Rights, protecting the freedoms and liberties of individuals from government...
August 17, 2010
HOWELL, Mich. –The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan wrote a letter today urging Howell city officials to respect the free speech rights of a local...
July 29, 2010
Detroit – In a letter today, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan urged Bloomfield Hills and Birmingham officials to uphold the rights of medical...
July 27, 2010
DETROIT – The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan today asked the FBI to turn over records related to the agency’s collection and use of race and...
March 15, 2010
CHARLEVOIX, MICH. – In a letter today, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan harshly criticized the Charlevoix Public Schools handling of a 2008...
October 14, 2009
DETROIT – The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan announced a settlement today in its lawsuit against Salem Township on behalf of two residents who were...
October 14, 2009
It never occurred to me to look up. London was an amazing city, but the weather was always a bit dreary. It was windy and it rained a lot, so I was usually...
September 24, 2009
DETROIT – The day before the start of Clinton Fall Festival, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan announced that it has reached a settlement with the...
June 16, 2009 Detroit
U.S. terrorism finance laws and policies unfairly prevent Muslims around the nation from practicing their religion through charitable giving and undermine...
DETROIT—The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan announced today that it has settled its lawsuit against the City of Detroit on behalf of an army veteran...
January 09, 2009 Safe & Free
DETROIT – The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan filed a federal lawsuit last night charging East Detroit Public School officials with failing to...
September 14, 2008
DETROIT - The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan grieves with the rest of the nation, and world, over the devastating loss of life resulting from the...
September 04, 2008
DETROIT—In a letter today, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan urged the Arenac County Sherriff to publicly declare that he has no intention of...
July 03, 2008
DETROIT As the Senate debates a major overhaul of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan called on...
December 12, 2007
DETROIT – Citing privacy concerns, the American Civil Liberties Union today released a report urging policy makers to closely monitor the expansion of new...
October 30, 2007
Detroit – The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan today applauded the State House of Representatives for passing a resolution that rejects participation...
October 03, 2007
Washington - The American Civil Liberties Union along with the ACLU of Michigan urged the U.S. Supreme Court today to review a legal challenge to the Bush...
September 05, 2007 Privacy
Today, most Michigan high school students and their parents are probably thinking about getting a new routine down pat, juggling work and school schedules, and...
August 10, 2007
Democratic “leaders” have crossed the line and betrayed the will of the majority who put them in power in 2006. This week, a timid Congress caved in to...
August 02, 2007
DETROIT -- President Bush has launched a “fear offensive” to pressure Congress into legalizing the warrantless wiretapping program of the National Security...
July 24, 2007
The supporters of Real ID are making a last ditch effort to save the embattled program. As part of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill, to...
July 06, 2007
CINCINNATI - In a 2-1 decision, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals today dismissed a legal challenge to the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance...
May 17, 2007
DETROIT -- The American Civil Liberties Union today welcomed the introduction of two state resolutions to oppose REAL ID authored by Representative John...
January 31, 2007
CINCINNATI - At a federal appeals court hearing, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Michigan argued that the president broke the law by...
June 09, 2006
DETROIT – The ACLU of Michigan has joined a coalition of more than 20 organizations nationwide in opposition of the illegal spying program conducted by the...
June 06, 2006
This weekend, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and Cooley Law School will present two town hall meetings entitled “Spying, Secrecy and...
May 24, 2006
DETROIT -- Responding to reports that phone companies are enabling illegal government spying by turning over private details about Americans’ telephone calls...
January 17, 2006
DETROIT – Saying that the Bush administration’s illegal spying on Americans must end, the American Civil Liberties Union today filed a first-of-its-kind...
November 17, 2005
Calls to Congress Needed TODAY https://secure.aclu.org/callnow/readmore.html Eager for a public success, the Bush Administration has strong-armed lawmakers...
February 04, 2005
DETROIT – A judge ruled today that an American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan lawsuit against the Michigan State Police (MSP) will not be dismissed and can...
February 03, 2005
DETROIT – A hearing will be held this week to determine if an American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan lawsuit against the Michigan State Police (MSP) will...
October 12, 2004
DETROIT — A federal court judge ruled today that a Utica high school violated the First Amendment by censoring an article in the school newspaper. Judge Arthur...
June 10, 2004 Privacy
DETROIT – At a news conference this morning, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan announced a challenge to a policy that has allowed the Detroit...
May 26, 2004
DETROIT - The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan today urged Congress and the American people to reject the latest call by the Bush administration to...
May 20, 2004
DETROIT – The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan today requested that the state police issue a formal ruling explaining why they believe that the “...
May 20, 2004
DETROIT – Attorney General Ashcroft’s widely publicized announcement last September that a provision expanding the powers of the FBI had not yet been used may...
May 19, 2004 Safe & Free
DETROIT – As the country focuses on the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark case that ended government imposed segregation in public...
April 30, 2004
DETROIT -- After eight years of a court struggle, the Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that a citizen has the right to express an opinion about a police...
February 20, 2004
DETROIT -- An Ingham County judge has dismissed the “obscene” phone call charges against an 82-year farmer who left voicemail messages on the Michigan...
February 17, 2004
DETROIT— Following a news report released yesterday in which the Michigan State Police admit that it has released information to a multistate police database,...
November 26, 2003 Due Process
The American Civil Liberties Union will present arguments in the first case to review the constitutionality of a controversial section of the PATRIOT Act. The...
November 03, 2003
NEW YORK – Fear of the PATRIOT Act has caused a dramatic decline in memberships and donations at mosques and forced a church-sponsored group that aids refugees...
October 30, 2003
NEW YORK—The American Civil Liberties Union today filed simultaneous state “Freedom of Information Act” requests in Michigan, Connecticut, New York, Ohio and...
July 30, 2003 Patriot Act
DETROIT – The American Civil Liberties Union today filed the first legal challenge to the USA PATRIOT Act, taking aim at a section of the controversial law...
July 08, 2003
Ann Arbor -- Last night the Ann Arbor City Council passed, by a 9-2 vote, a resolution to safeguard the civil liberties of Ann Arbor residents in the wake of...
January 06, 2003 Privacy & Technology
DETROIT – The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan is pleased to announce that Noel Saleh, a prominent and longtime immigration attorney in the Detroit...
July 10, 2002
DETROIT -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan filed a lawsuit today in federal district court on behalf of a Frenchtown Charter Township...
March 08, 2002 Racial Profiling
As the nation tries to find the best ways to improve airport security, it is crucial that we resist grabbing onto strategies that only create a sense of false...
January 24, 2002
Detroit – In anticipation of next week’s Judiciary Committee agenda in the Michigan Senate, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan sent a letter today...
November 08, 2001 Racial Justice
The CEO and Executive Vice President of Northwest Airlines have sent a letter to the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan to apologize for the treatment...
On March 24, 2003, the Department of Justice (DOJ) published a final rule without public comment that exempts the FBI's National Crime Information Center...
DETROIT -- The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Michigan will appear in federal court here on Monday, June 12, to argue that the Bush...
The Michigan ACLU announced today that pamphlets advising people about their rights when stopped or questioned by the FBI, police or INS officials are...
The ACLU of Michigan and the Michigan Poverty Law Program (MPLP) are seeking the release of a father who has been unjustly jailed for not complying with a...