1970 October 13

Cops Blame ACLU, Supreme Court for Violent Crime

 

At a rally of between 2,000 and 3,000 police officers in Washington, D.C. on this day, John H. Harrington, a 30-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, blamed the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Supreme Court for high rates of violent crime in the country. The attack was a response to the fact that the ACLU had been a leader in challenging police misconduct.

The ACLU, however, also defended police officers when their First Amendment or due process rights were violated. See for example, the New York Civil Liberties Union criticisms of the methods used to investigate police corruption in New York City in the famous “Serpico” scandal on October 22, 1971. The ACLU later published a handbook on the rights of police officers: The Rights of Police Officers (1981).

Learn more about the ACLU and police practices: https://www.aclu.org/criminal-law-reform/police-practices

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