Monday, March 15, 2010

ACLU, B-PEP to Hold Civil Rights Forum

The January arrest of CAPA student Jordan Miles by Pittsburgh police has prompted local organizations to hold a community forum tonight on racial profiling and constitutional rights.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania and the Black Political Empowerment Project say they’ve assembled presenters from Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh to discuss civil rights during encounters with police.

The meeting, geared toward young people, will also give individuals a chance to question legal experts about their concerns.

B-PEP Chairman Tim Stevens says while tragic, the Miles incident has presented an opportunity for police policy reforms in Pittsburgh.

“This is a moment in time where some of these changes that we have wanted for years to come about will be coming about, including installation of video cameras in police [cars] which I personally have been fighting for for probably at least ten years,” says Stevens. “So sometimes, these incidents provoke negativity, but also they inspire creativity.”

Stevens says representatives of the Hispanic and Muslim communities, as well as the Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network, will meet at the Union Project March 29 to continue the conversation about racial profiling.

Tonight’s open forum will be held at 6:30 in St. James AME Church of Pittsburgh.

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