- Associated Press - Friday, January 20, 2017

WOONSOCKET, R.I. (AP) - Woonsocket has agreed to pay a deaf man $25,000 after the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city’s police department over his 2015 arrest.

The Providence Journal reported (https://bit.ly/2iITuQD ) Thursday the city agreed to strike down a law that said people could be charged with disorderly conduct for making obscene hand gestures or using abusive or obscene language.

Woonsocket, which doesn’t admit fault under the settlement, must also implement a policy and train staff to offer communications devices to hearing-impaired individuals.

The ACLU lawsuit said police violated anti-discrimination laws by not providing David Alves an interpreter.

Alves, who is deaf, was jailed overnight for allegedly making an obscene gesture. A judge later dismissed charges against him.

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Information from: The Providence Journal, https://www.providencejournal.com


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