NEW: ACLU Calls for Investigation of Cranston Police Dept. Practices

Thursday, July 24, 2014


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The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island has asked the Cranston City Council to investigate city police department practices.

The ACLU cited the Cranston Police Department’s parking ticket scandal and allegations of police misconduct in the case of Michael Patino.

Patino was charged in 2010 with the murder of the young son of his girlfriend.

RI Superior Court Judge Savage, who examined the police conduct two years ago, stated in her conclusion, “In all, the Court finds that the Cranston Police Department’s actions – both with regard to the illegal search and the ensuing investigation into Defendant’s culpability – manifested an overall attitude of gross negligence, if not downright recklessness, in blatant disregard of the requirements of the law.”

“While some people may find it easy to look the other way when police bend the rules in investigating heinous crimes, one does so only at the risk that it will promote a culture of indifference to basic civil rights that may show up in myriad other ways. The parking ticket scandal may be an outcome of that indifference,” ACLU Executive Director Steven Brown stated in a letter to the City Council.

Brown referenced the recent rulings both the state Supreme Court and the lower court addressing claims of improper conduct by Cranston police during their investigation of the Patino case. Brown stated that the ticketing scandal was not necessarily an isolated incident and that a broader pattern of police misconduct needed to be investigated.


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