Duluth, MN Affirming the Civil Rights of All Residents

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Duluth, MN, US

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Type: Resolution

Status: Introduced in 2003 (disposition unclear)

Source File: http://www.ci.duluth.mn.us/city/council/resord03/03-0046r.htm



WHEREAS, the city of Duluth recognizes the Constitution of the United States of America to be the supreme law of the land, which all public servants are sworn to uphold, superceding all administrative rules, local ordinances, state statutes, and federal laws; and

WHEREAS, Duluth has a long and distinguished history of protecting and expanding the civil rights and civil liberties of its residents; and

WHEREAS, the residents of Duluth wish to honor the memory of all those who died as a result of the September 11, 2001 attacks; and<

WHEREAS, Duluth has a diverse population, including retirees, working people, students, and non-citizens, and members of the armed services, whose contributions to the community are vital to its character and function; and

WHEREAS, the Duluth city council, motivated by the commitment to uphold the human rights of all persons in Duluth and the free exercise and enjoyment of any and all rights and privileges secured by our constitutions and laws of the United States, the state of Minnesota and the city of Duluth, passed an ordinance which established the Duluth Human Rights Commission; and

WHEREAS, the United States congress passed the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (USA PATRIOT Act) on October 26, 2001; and

WHEREAS, the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the state of Minnesota guarantee those living in the United States the following rights: freedom of speech and assembly; equality before the law and the presumption of innocence; access to counsel and due process in judicial proceedings; protection from unreasonable searches and seizures; and protections of the Fourth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution; and

WHEREAS The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution states: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."; and

WHEREAS, several acts and orders recently enacted at the Federal level, including sections of the USA PATRIOT Act and several executive orders, now affect these fundamental rights and liberties:

freedom of speech, religion, assembly and privacy;

the rights to counsel and due process in judicial proceedings; and

protection from unreasonable searches and seizures;

WHEREAS, we believe these civil liberties are precious, and may be threatened by these acts and orders, which:

reduce judicial supervision of telephone and internet surveillance;

expand the government's ability to conduct searches without warrants;
grant power to the secretary of state to designate domestic groups as "terrorist organizations;"
grant power to the attorney general to subject non-citizens to indefinite detention or deportation even if they have not committed a crime;
grant the federal bureau of investigation (FBI) access to sensitive medical, mental health, financial, and educational records about individuals without having to show evidence of a crime; and

grant the FBI the power to compel libraries and bookstores to produce circulation of purchase records of their patrons and forbids disclosure that such records have been requested and produced; and

WHEREAS, the city of Duluth has been, and remains, committed to the protection of civil rights and liberties for all citizens of Duluth; and

WHEREAS, the city council believes that a threat to any one person's constitutional rights is a threat to the rights of all;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Duluth city council affirms the rights of all people, including United States citizens and citizens of other nations, within the city, in accordance with the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

RESOLVED FURTHER, that the Duluth City Council calls upon all city officials and employees to respect the civil rights and liberties of all members of this community, including those who are citizens of other nations.

RESOLVED FURTHER, that the Duluth City Council supports the action of each and all city officials and employees who refuse to assist or voluntarily cooperate with investigations, interrogations, or arrest procedures, public or clandestine, that have been judged to be in violation of an individual's civil rights or civil liberties as specified in the United States Constitution.

RESOLVED FURTHER, that the Duluth City Council will support a policy of the Duluth police department that all detentions or stops should be supported by reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed or is about to be committed, and that all arrests and searches of person and/or property by officers in Duluth must be conducted in compliance with the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; and requests the mayor and chief of police to adopt this policy and continue it in full force and effect.

RESOLVED FURTHER, that the Duluth City Council requests all private citizens, including residents, employers, educators, and business owners, to demonstrate similar respect for civil rights, civil liberties, and the Constitution of the United States.

RESOLVED FURTHER, that the Duluth City Council requests that the United States attorney's office, U.S. justice department, the U.S. central intelligence agency, the office of the federal bureau of investigation, the Minnesota department of public safety, and local law enforcement authorities publicly disclose the names of any federal detainees suspected of terrorism held in Duluth.

RESOLVED FURTHER, that the Duluth City Council requests federal and state law enforcement officials working within the city to act in accordance with the policies of the Duluth police department, and in cooperation with the department, by not permitting nor engaging in detentions without charges or racial profiling in law enforcement.

RESOLVED FURTHER, that the Duluth City Council affirms its strong opposition to terrorism, but also affirms that any efforts to end terrorism should not be waged at the expense of essential civil rights and liberties of the people of Duluth, the United States, and the world.

RESOLVED FURTHER, that the Duluth City Council requests our United States congressional representatives and senators to monitor the implementation of the USA PATRIOT Act and executive orders issued pursuant to the act and requests our congressional representatives to actively work to repeal the USA Patriot Act.

RESOLVED FURTHER, that copies of this resolution shall be provided to the city's U.S. congressional representatives, the United States attorney general, and the President of the United States.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: This resolution requests adoption of some police department policies and procedures, expresses support for constitutional rights, and requests our elected officials to repeal the USA Patriot Act adopted by congress on October 26, 2001.