Lawyer Normal Neronha broadcasts Civil Rights Staff to analyze hate crimes

December 11, 2020, 12:28 p.m.

PROVIDENCE, RI (WLNE) – Attorney General Peter Neronha has established a civil rights team focused on investigating and prosecuting hate crimes and police misconduct.

The team consists of law enforcement and civil attorneys to ensure that civil rights issues are handled with professionalism and scrutiny.

The Civil Rights team also offers solid education and training programs in partnership with community organizations including the Jewish Alliance, the Rhode Island Commission on Prejudice and Bias, and several law enforcement agencies across the state.

“While growing and expanding civil rights work has been a top priority of mine, our goal is to develop and embed an approach that goes well beyond my administration,” said Neronha. “We adopted this new structure after reviewing similar models in other states for good practice and having had many discussions with lawyers, community organizations and elected officials.

The team uses a common investigation model to analyze cases and determine whether a criminal or a civil lawsuit should be brought.

“It’s a smart way to make sure we address these issues consistently and develop expertise in the office,” said Neronha. “When our civil rights attorney works with our prosecutors, we can open up a new perspective and make sure we are bringing cases where we should. Different perspectives ensure better decisions. “

According to a law enforcement guideline released earlier this week, Neronha recommended that each police agency designate a hate crime and civil rights liaison to act as a departmental contact with the civil rights team.

The team consists of Attorney General Civil Rights Attorney Keith Hoffman, Civil Rights Attorney General Don Guglielmo, and Assistant Attorneys General Robert Johnson and Michael McCabe.

Other areas of responsibility for the Civil Rights Team include excessive use of force by the police and other violations of civil rights, e.g. B. when a perpetrator violently or under threat of violence interferes with the constitutional or legal rights of an individual.

© WLNE-TV / ABC6 2020

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