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pink-licenseFrom ACLU-NC Communications Director Mike Meno:

ACLU-NC Calls New Design of Driver’s Licenses for Young Immigrants ‘Huge Step in the Right Direction’

New Design for Driver’s Licenses to be Issued Next Week to Young Immigrants Receiving Deferred Action Removes Much-Criticized Pink Stripe, Adds Clarifying Phrase ‘Legal Presence,’ And Will Keep Licenses Horizontal for 21+

RALEIGH – The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Legal Foundation says a new design for driver’s licenses the N.C. Department of Transportation unveiled today for young immigrants receiving work permits through the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) is a step in the right direction but that concerns about the licenses remain. Read More

Community leaders and activists from organizations such as SpiritHouse, the Durham NAACP and the N.C. NAACP will gather 8:30am tomorrow morning at the Durham County Courthouse to bring attention to the case of Stephanie Nickerson, a U.S. Navy veteran and alleged victim of police brutality.

Nickerson, 25, advised her friend against an unwarranted search of a home by police responding to a disturbance call on October 28, 2012.

In an ABC11 interview, she said, “He was like put your arms behind your back, and I jerked my arm away and said no I haven’t done anything wrong. And immediately after I jerked my arm back he threw me on the ground, he held me by my neck, and punched me repeatedly in my face and head.”

Here’s the complete report from ABC11:

Nickerson’s case might not be an isolated incident as a report by the North Carolina Advocates for Justice suggests a disturbing trend over the past decade of racial disparities in police encounters with minorities. Read More

By Mike Meno, Communications Director of the ACLU of North Carolina

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a civil rights lawsuit against Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson yesterday, charging that under his direction, the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) has systematically and unlawfully targeted Latino residents for investigation, traffic stops, arrests, seizures, and other enforcement actions since at least 2007. The lawsuit asks a federal court to order Sheriff Johnson to refrain from discriminatory policing and for the ACSO to adopt and implement policies that would constitutionally protect and serve all county residents.

The ACLU and other groups have been receiving complaints about Johnson, his deputies, and their treatment of Latinos for years. But some of the alleged examples of Sheriff Johnson’s own prejudice and policing style outlined in yesterday’s lawsuit – which resulted from a two-year investigation and interviews with more than 100 witnesses – are truly shocking.

Among them:

-“In a staff meeting … in January 2007, Defendant Johnson yelled “bring me some Mexicans!” while banging his fists on the table.” Read More

The North Carolina NAACP renewed its call for gubernatorial pardons in the infamous “Wilmington 10″ case again today and the evidence they advanced in support of the demand was disturbing and compelling.

The following is from a release that accompanied this morning’s press conference:

RALEIGH – Newly discovered racist jury profiling by the Pender County Prosecutor Jay Stroud, shows shocking racial hostility toward prospective Black jurors. In his first effort to select a jury to convict ten young activists who had been charged with burning a Wilmington store, District Attorney Stroud ended up with ten Blacks and two Whites. Stroud felt “sick,” and asked for a mistrial. The judge agreed, and the trial was rescheduled for Pender County. Stroud got a list of about 100 prospective jurors, and he wrote racial comments beside most of their names.

 “We rarely get such direct evidence of prosecutorial racism in jury selection,” said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President of the North Carolina NAACP. Read More

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Gov. Perdue took some heat earlier this year when she pointed out that the General Assembly seemed to be bent on transforming North Carolina into Mississippi-on-the-Atlantic. As we’ve  noted here and here however, she was actually on the money with her comments.

Today, there’s new confirmation of just how desperately screwed up things are in the state that conservatives in the North Carolina frequently hold up as a model. This is from the folks at Think Progress (who also supplied the photo at left):

“The Department of Justice on Friday uncovered a so-called “School-to-Prison pipeline” in Mississippi, where teachers and principals are shipping off children into the criminal justice system for infractions as small as a dress code violation.”

You can read the entire sickening story by clicking here.