Scott Willis/WAER News

Advocates for criminal justice reform in Onondaga County want the system to be more fair. They’re concerned with how people of color and people without resources are treated.  When people are a waiting trial, Retired judge Langston McKinney says many find themselves locked up unnecessarily.  He argues judges don’t always understand bail. 

Scott Willis / WAER News

The Workers’ Center of Central New York and other plaintiffs say they’re planning to appeal a decision on a case that challenged the state’s collective bargaining law to include farmworkers.  A judge in Albany dismissed the case filed by the NYCLU on behalf of a dairy farm worker who was fired for trying to organize.

The Central New York chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union is hosting a panel discussion about the ongoing plans for I-81, and how it will impact racial isolation and economic exclusion in Onondaga County. 

The panel will be moderated by Director Yusuf Abdul-Qadir. He says plans for the highway must include consideration of the issues of poverty and segregation in the city.

“It’s unfathomable that we would have a community that has the highest concentrations of poverty of African Americans and Latinos and not use this as a means to address those issues."

  The Syracuse Police Department’s trail run with body cameras should be the beginning of a conversation about police-community relations and accountability.  That’s the position of the New York Civil Liberties Union.  Central New York Chapter director Yusuf Abdul Qadir says he was happy to hear about the grant that will fund 10 body cameras.  But he has a few areas of concern that need to be addressed by the proper policy.

Karen DeWitt / WXXI News

Advocates for farm workers  are trying a new route to gain the right to form a union and be allowed benefits afforded to other laborers in New York. They are suing the state government. Governor Cuomo says he agrees with the farmworkers and won’t be defending the law in court.

For decades, migrant farmworkers and their advocates have tried to get a law passed to place the laborers under the protection of the state’s labor laws, giving them the right to form unions, and collectively bargain with their farmer employers for better working conditions.

Scott Willis / WAER News

A name synonymous with Central New York’s chapter of the NYCLU for nearly 20 years has taken a new position with Onondaga County.  Lawmakers Tuesday confirmed Barrie Gewanter as the next executive director of the Onondaga County/Syracuse Commission on Human Rights.

three men in a conference with microphones
Scott Willis / WAER News

The Syracuse community could soon provide more oversight of the Onondaga County Justice Center under a local law introduced Monday to county lawmakers.  

Legislature Chair Ryan McMahon presented a draft of the measure at a public safety committee meeting, framing it as a way to increase communication between local organizations, and also act as another check and balance to avoid making costly mistakes…

McMahon said Monday that the community has been advocating for a measure like this one for three decades, and that it’s time to “bring a sense of confidence to the community,” while addressing any additional concerns different parties and law enforcement may have along the way.  

Scott Willis / WAER News

A brightly-colored seven-foot tall carnival-style wheel stopped outside the justice center in Syracuse Thursday to highlight what some are calling New York’s broken public defense system.    The prop is part of a traveling campaign with the New York Civil Liberties Union calling on Governor Cuomo to end 50 years of the state’s failure to provide attorneys to poor New Yorkers accused of crimes.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

The incident of Syracuse police using a taser on a man on a Centro bus has raised questions about use of force policies.  Among the complaints are charges that top city officials are ignoring the issue.

Scott Willis, WAER News

The transgender community in Syracuse fears for its safety now that the killer of a young trans-woman is free. 

Green’s mother Roxanne says she has little faith in the legal system, after the Appellate Court in Rochester released Dwight DeLee on probation last week.