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Civil Rights Archives

Why organizations' first impulse is to cover up

The Catholic Church is once again making news. There are the tragic findings of a Pennsylvania Grand Jury, which recently announced it had evidence of 300 priests molesting 1,000 children in their care. This was followed by accusations by a top Vatican diplomat who, among other things, alleged that the Pope and other top Vatican officials covered up accusations that American Cardinal Theodore McCarrick had sexually abused seminarians.  The athletic world has similarly been shook by revelations of Michigan doctor Larry Nassar abusing hundreds of gymnasts while supposedly providing medical treatment. Ohio State's sports has suffered a variety of scandals including the recent three-game suspension of acclaimed football coach Urban Meyer for allowing his assistant coach to continue to work even after it came to light that the man abused his wife.

New law requires warrant for ICE to enter city-operated areas

With the Trump administration cracking down on immigration, many of New Mexico’s undocumented immigrants are concerned for their future. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has ramped up its efforts to arrest, detain and deport foreign nationals who are living in the country illegally. In response, some of New Mexico’s cities are passing laws to protect the rights of their immigrant population.

How not to spread fake news

Recent news has shown that Americans have serious difficulty distinguishing between real news and fake news. First, the Russian company Internet Research Agency was indicted for disseminating false information on social media platforms to sway the election in favor of Donald Trump. Then came the scandal involving Facebook and the British information firm Cambridge Analytica, which was used by the Trump campaign to target unwitting Facebook users.

New Mexico civil rights leaders criticize ICE policies

The Trump administration's crackdown on immigration shows no end in sight. In the past several weeks, it seems only to have strengthened. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) has been given the green light to hold detainees indefinitely; Attorney General Jeff Sessions has sued the state of California for its immigrant-friendly "sanctuary" policies; and the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program remains in limbo.

Police allegedly pointed assault weapons at 9-year-old girl

A New Mexico family has filed suit against the Department of Public Safety, claiming that New Mexico State Police officers used excessive force while searching for an escaped prisoner. Family members claim that, among other things, several police officers pointed their assault rifles at an unarmed 9-year-old girl who was holding an infant.

Your recourse in the face of a civil rights violation

It's Saturday afternoon. After a stressful week at work, you decide to treat yourself to a little shopping spree. You head out to the local mall and step into one of your favorite boutiques. However, you quickly notice that something is off. The shopkeeper seems to be eyeing you suspiciously, closely monitoring your every move as she follows you around the store. As you leave, she instructs the security guard to have you searched.

Crime rates up for second year but still near historic lows

According to the FBI's most recent "Crime in the United States" report, violent crime rose noticeably in Albuquerque between 2015 and 2016, but only modestly nationwide. Experts say the national rise in violent crime is driven by spikes in a few cities and the overall rate remains near historically low levels. The FBI points out that this is the first time in a decade that the violent crime rate has risen in two consecutive years.

Hawkes family seeks default judgment against city in death case

The family of Mary Hawkes, the 19-year-old who was shot down by police in 2014, has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the City of Albuquerque. They claim a series of unlawful searches and seizures, along with Albuquerque Police Department negligence, led to the young woman's wrongful death.