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Case Name Providence Youth Student Movement v. Elorza PN-RI-0003
Docket / Court 1:19-cv-00378-WES-PAS ( D.R.I. )
State/Territory Rhode Island
Case Type(s) Policing
Case Summary
On July 16, 2019, the Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM) filed this lawsuit in federal court in the District of Rhode Island. The plaintiffs sued the mayor of Providence, the public safety commissioner of Providence, the chief of police, and the city’s treasurer for violations of municipal ... read more >
On July 16, 2019, the Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM) filed this lawsuit in federal court in the District of Rhode Island. The plaintiffs sued the mayor of Providence, the public safety commissioner of Providence, the chief of police, and the city’s treasurer for violations of municipal code, and the Rhode Island Constitution in relation to a racially discriminatory policing project. PrYSM is a youth organization based in Providence’s Southeast Asian community, and it claimed to have been directly affected by this discriminatory policy. Police had long targeted Providence’s substantial Southeast Asian community in their attempts to curb gang violence. However, in 2017, the Providence City Council passed a law called the Community Safety act that forbade the use of “association” as a criteria for gang affiliation. This violative conduct, plaintiffs alleged, contravened basic federal constitutional rights to freedom of speech and association as well as Due Process rights under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment. The plaintiffs, represented by a local community lawyer, sought injunctive and declaratory relief as well as attorney’s fees.

Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that police units continued to enact policies criminalizing activities protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, like free association, in order to assess gang membership. This behavior, plaintiffs allege, increase the likelihood of unconstitutional seizures in violation of the due process clause. Plaintiffs demanded a jury trial on all counts. The case is ongoing.

Dan Toubman - 02/14/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Freedom of speech/association
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Language/ethnic/minority needs
Racial profiling
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Asian/Pacific Islander
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
State law
Defendant(s) Chief of Police
City of Providence
Mayor of Providence
Providence Public Safety Officer
Plaintiff Description Youth group representing Providence Southeast Asian community.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 07/16/2019
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Docket(s)
1:19-cv-00378-WES-PAS (D.R.I.)
PN-RI-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/05/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Verified Complaint [ECF# 1]
PN-RI-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/16/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint [ECF# 5]
PN-RI-0003-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/19/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
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Judges Smith, William E. (D.R.I.) show/hide docs
PN-RI-0003-9000
Sullivan, Patricia A. Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
PN-RI-0003-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Kurland, Shannah M. (Rhode Island) show/hide docs
PN-RI-0003-0001 | PN-RI-0003-0002 | PN-RI-0003-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Garner, Sharon Marie (Mississippi) show/hide docs
PN-RI-0003-9000
Nelson, Steven B. (Rhode Island) show/hide docs
PN-RI-0003-9000

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