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Police oversight board reviews city’s gang database policy

September 2, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A police oversight board is reviewing the constitutionality of how the Providence Police Department added people to a database to identify suspected gang members.

The department said in July it had temporarily stopped operating the database, after the Providence Youth Student Movement filed a lawsuit.

WPRI-TV reports the Providence External Review Authority heard testimony from the American Civil Liberties Union Rhode Island chapter Thursday.

The chapter’s executive director, Steven Brown, says he’s extremely concerned because people can end up in the database even if they haven’t been involved in any way in criminal activity.

Lindsay Lague, a police department spokeswoman, has said that police are reviewing their policy.

The Providence Youth Student Movement is suing over non-gang members being included, which they say led to discrimination in interactions with police.

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