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Twitter: @SteveAhlquist

Steve Ahlquist is an award-winning journalist, writer, artist and founding member of the Humanists of Rhode Island, a non-profit group dedicated to reason, compassion, optimism, courage and action. The views expressed are his own and not necessarily those of any organization of which he is a member.

His photos and video are usable under the Creative Commons license. Free to share with credit.

"We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” - Elie Weisel

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu

"There comes a time when neutrality and laying low become dishonorable. If you’re not in revolt, you’re in cahoots. When this period and your name are mentioned, decades hence, your grandkids will look away in shame." - David Brooks

5 responses to “Gang database criteria a contentious issue at third CSA Working Group meeting”

  1. salgal

    I wonder how many White humans are in the gang database? Is that public information?

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    1. Steveg

      It would probably depend on which gang, Latin Kings probably not too many. On the other hand, if you are asking about the Hammerskins then it would be all of them.

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  2. Jessica Holden Sherwood

    This quote makes me mad: “officers objected to the “micro-managing feel” of monitoring how they write their notes.” In what other profession can people sort others, with such dire consequences, & zero transparency?
    “You: medication. You: surgery. Why the difference? None of your business.”

    I like this NY Times piece on the complexity and harms of defining gang membership: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/31/magazine/how-do-you-define-a-gang-member.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fmagazine&action=click&contentCollection=magazine&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=search&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront&_r=0

    I applaud STEP-UP and their members on this working group for their persistence. And as always, I appreciate Steve’s reporting. (Readers, click “Subscribe” if you haven’t yet!)

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  3. Nancy Green

    Responding to what Jessica said, other professions have to document their work within standards. Nurse’s notes can be subpoenaed and can have consequences for the writer and the patient. We are trained to sort out the objective and subjective observations and our notes are audited by our supervisors. You get used to it- that’s one of the responsibilities of the work. Would anyone want to settle for less?

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  4. Would the Community Safety Act by any other name smell as sweet?

    […] listed as a gang member can have dire consequences. As I more fully explained here, Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin‘s office can use a 10-year enhancement when […]

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