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Protecting the Bill of Rights in Utah since 1958

Local Policy Work

ACLU of Utah Statement on Proposed Salt Lake City Body Camera Policy

01 March 2017 Published in Newsroom
The ACLU of Utah has submitted extensive comments on Salt Lake City’s recently released “Draft Policy Regarding Release of Body Camera Footage.”

Regarding Police Use of Force Against Community Members

16 June 2015 Published in Articles, Resources, and Position Papers
The ACLU of Utah is an organization dedicated to restraining government intrusion into our lives, and ensuring that government wields its power responsibly. We strive for a state that affords dignity, autonomy and justice to all its residents. There are very few ways in which the state so overtly wields power over us, than in the form of its law enforcement agents. In the words of our colleagues in Maryland, in the aftermath of the death of Freddie Gray, “Over time, the daily injustices, the repeated instances of police brutality, the unconstitutional treatment of poor and minority people – these patterns crush people’s souls.” To assume that such problems cannot and do not happen in our own state, would reveal a dangerous blindness to the reality faced by many of our fellow Utahns. The ACLU of Utah pledges its commitment to finding a solution to the police militarization and law enforcement overreach that has come to characterize our nation in the following ways: We proactively support community oversight of our law enforcement agencies. This includes empowering community members to exercise their right to record police officers who are interacting with the community, and also developing legislation related to police body-mounted…

Tension Over Timing: How Fast Can A Prison Be Moved...Without Messing It Up?

To answer EVERYONE'S question: NOPE. We don't know where the new prison (or prisons) will be built. We don't know if there will be one site, two sites, or more. We don't even quite know WHEN we are going to break ground (though some leaders are still crossing their fingers for 2018). Yes, the Prison Relocation Commission met for the second time last Thursday. No, it didn't answer any of these questions. What we DO know is this: the Prison Relocation Commission intends to know the answers to ALL these questions by December 2014, in time to make a recommendation to (and ask for an appropriation from) the full Legislature when it convenes in January 2015. The timeline is aggressive, no doubt. (Note: Download and review the Commission's proposed super-speedy timeline at the end of this post to judge for yourself. And that's causing a little tension. See, the PRC intends to "get things moving!" The problem is, we're not exactly sure which "things" actually should move. Utah has a historic opportunity to build a prison that utilizes the best available research on corrections from the past twenty-five years. It would be a waste to just re-build all the same…

Revised Proposed Salt Lake City Anti-Panhandling Ordinance Still Threatens First Amendment Rights

09 October 2010 Published in Local Policy Work
The ACLU of Utah again submitted comments to Salt Lake City regarding the city's revised proposed anti-panhandling ordinance. The ACLU of Utah is concerned that this measure will compromise rights and prove ineffective.

Proposed Salt Lake Panhandling Ordinance Could Limit Free Speech

17 September 2009 Published in Local Policy Work
The ACLU of Utah submitted comments to Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and the City Council in response to the proposed "Commercial Solicitation Ordinance." The ACLU of Utah outlines how the proposed ordinance could infringe upon the free speech rights of Utahns and criminalize speech that is protected by the First Amendment and Utah's own free speech clause.

ACLU of Utah Applauds Proposed Salt Lake City Non-Discrimination Ordinance

19 August 2009 Published in Local Policy Work
In a letter to Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and the City Council, the ACLU of Utah, expressed support for the proposed ordinance to prevent employment and housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

ACLU of Utah asks Salt Lake City Mayor Anderson and Police Chief Burbank to change SLCPD Taser Policy

25 April 2006 Published in Local Policy Work
ACLU of Utah asks Salt Lake City Mayor Anderson and Police Chief Burbank to change SLCPD Taser Policy.

ACLU of Utah Urges South Salt Lake City to Reconsider Unconstitutional Ordinance

24 April 2002 Published in Local Policy Work
The ACLU of Utah sends a letter to City of South Salt Lake commenting on constitutional defects with the City's plans to limit free speech under proposed “Mass Gathering” ordinance.

ACLU of Utah Writes Salt Lake City Council Members About Proposed Ordinance Prohibiting Masks

17 January 2002 Published in Local Policy Work
The ACLU of Utah submits the following comments on the anti mask ordinance introduced by Salt Lake City’s Chief of Police Rick Dinse.

ACLU of Utah Writes Farmington City About Its Proposed Ordinance for Free Expression Activities

06 December 2001 Published in Local Policy Work
The ACLU of Utah hopes that unnecessary litigation can be avoided and offer these suggestions in an attempt to address what we believe to be the most serious constitutional defects with the Farmington City’s plan to limit free speech during the Olympic Games. 

ACLU of Utah Sends Letter Regarding Salt Lake City’s Proposed Police Civilian Review Board Ordinance

09 September 2001 Published in Local Policy Work
ACLU of Utah express support for the proposed changes to the Police Civilian Review Board, which we believe considerably strengthen our existing model for citizen review of police practices. To Members of the Salt Lake City Council: I am writing on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah to express our support for the proposed changes to the Police Civilian Review Board, which we believe considerably strengthen our existing model for citizen review of police practices. The ACLU has always maintained that effective law enforcement depends upon the trust and cooperation of community residents, and that both are enhanced when citizen review of police activities is possible. We are pleased by the fact that the proposed ordinance contains several elements that are critical to a strong and independent review board, specifically: 1) An investigator who is not an employee of the police department, who has access to all investigations by the police department’s internal affairs unit, and who may request additional investigations, question witnesses, and request that internal affairs representatives interview specific witnesses or collect evidence. 2) A civilian review board that is as diverse – geographically, racially, economically, etc. – as the population it represents. 3) The…

ACLU of Utah Comments on Salt Lake City’s Plans to Accommodate Free Speech During the Olympic Games

09 September 2001 Published in Local Policy Work
In light of the fact that the City’s plans for limiting free speech during the Olympics, The ACLU of Utah offers the following comments on the plans in hopes of prompting the City to adopt a constitutionally sound final plan. September 10, 2001 By Facsimile and U.S. Mail Boyd A. Ferguson Assistant City Attorney 451 South State Street Room 505 Salt Lake City, Utah 84111 Re: Request for Records Regarding Free Speech During 2002 Winter Olympics Dear Mr. Ferguson, This is further to your letter of August 30, 2001. In light of the fact that the City’s plans for limiting free speech during the Olympics are still being developed, we would like to offer the following comments on the plans in hopes of prompting the City to adopt a constitutionally sound final plan. 1. The “Shaded” Areas It appears that the City proposes to close every traditional public forum that falls within any of the “shaded” areas on the map you provided – areas covering some 16 square blocks. Within the shaded areas, protests will be limited to six small areas that will accommodate a total of 170 protesters at any given time. Blanket restrictions on access to traditional public…

Letter Asks SLC to Guarantee Free Speech Rights During Olympics

04 June 2001 Published in Local Policy Work
Letter to Mayor Ross Anderson and Salt Lake City Police Chief Rick Dinse outlining our position on free speech activities during the Olympic games.

ACLU of Utah Encourages SLC to Make Civilian Review Board More Independent

04 March 2001 Published in Local Policy Work
ACLU of Utah sends letter to mayor on Salt Lake City’s proposed Police Civilian Review Board ordinancepolicy

ACLU of Utah Encourages Comprehensive Training For Olympic Security

10 August 2000 Published in Local Policy Work
Letter to Captain Ed Spann and Agent Dale Weiss of the Utah Olympic Public Safety Command

Proposed Administrative Law Ordinance Impacts Ethnic Communities

08 November 1999 Published in Local Policy Work
In a Letter to the Salt Lake City Council, the ACLU of Utah Questions the Proposed Administrative Law Division

Utah Coalition Raises Concerns Regarding Olympic Impact On Rights

01 September 1999 Published in Local Policy Work
ACLU of Utah Writes Public Safety Commissioner Craig Dearden

Proposed Anti Cruising Ordinance Raises Concerns

24 May 1999 Published in Local Policy Work
The ACLU of Utah Sends a Letter to Salt Lake City Council Members Opposing the Proposed Anti-Cruising Ordinance