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Providence Police Settles Gang Database Lawsuit, Revises Policy

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The Providence Police Department has changed its policy for including a person in its gang database as part of a settlement reached with The Providence Youth Student Movement, or PrYSM over the list of gang members the department maintains.

The new policy about the gang database — formally known as the intelligence assessment database — has much stricter criteria for a person to be included in the database, which police officers can access in the course of their law enforcement duties.

The old policy, which had a point system for inclusion in the database, used criteria such as “appearance in gang-related photographs,” “contributor in gang-related publications” or being “named as a gang member in gang-related information from an anonymous informant or tipster.”

The new police policy was crafted collaboratively with PrYSM, according to a consent decree filed in federal court in Providence. In exchange for dropping the lawsuit, the city agreed to inform PrYSM of any future changes to the gang database policy and take their recommendations into account.

The city also agreed to pay PrYSM $2,500 in legal fees but did not admit to any wrongdoing or liability for the allegations in the suit.

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