We realize that excessive policies and actions of the police are instrumental in deciding who gets stopped, searched, arrested, and funneled into the criminal justice system. Indeed, the United States’ over-incarceration crisis begins at the front end of the system, especially for communities of color. Meanwhile, often under the guise of our failed drug war, abuse of civil asset forfeiture is rampant, while federal grant programs enable the increasing militarization of local police departments.
Consequently, we are dedicated to guaranteeing that all people in Michigan—regardless of race, gender or gender identity and expression—can live free of police brutality and law-enforcement practices that increase the likelihood that they will be forced into the criminal justice system. More than 15 years ago, the ACLU of Michigan established its Racial Justice Project to address racism in our state. We’ve also produced several reports, won a ground-breaking “biking while black” case and co-founded a coalition of law-enforcement agencies and community groups to address police practices and accountability. We also launched Mobile Justice MI, a mobile application that allows users to film police abuse and report it immediately to the ACLU of Michigan. We also seek to ensure that those enmeshed in the criminal justice system receive the full protection of the law and the same rights and benefits that are given to others.