ACLU sues Woonsocket PD for violating deaf man’s rights

WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the Woonsocket Police Department over the arrest of a deaf person last year.

In a news release, the ACLU claims Woonsocket police violated David Alves’ rights when they arrested him last summer for making an obscene gesture and held him in jail overnight.

According to the union, police ignored Alves’ request for a sign language interpreter – ultimately violating his “statutory and constitutional rights.”

The ACLU also claims the city ordinance under which Alves was arrested is unconstitutional.

The Woonsocket Police Department declined to comment on the lawsuit, referring all inquiries to the city’s law department.

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