Civil Rights

The Civil Rights team ensures that civil rights matters – including hate crimes, incidents of police misconduct or excessive use of force – are addressed with the level of scrutiny and professionalism that all communities in the State deserve, whether pursued criminally or civilly.


To report civil rights violations, hate crimes, or incidents of police misconduct or excessive use of force, file a complaint online or call (401) 274-4400 [option 4].

View RIAG Investigations and Reports page here.


The Civil Rights team is comprised of the Civil Rights Advocate in the Civil Division and the Civil Rights Prosecution Unit in the Criminal Division. This integrated team applies a joint investigation model when scrutinizing these cases to ensure all perspectives are represented.


Our areas of responsibility include:

To report civil rights violations, hate crimes, or incidents of police misconduct or excessive use of force, file a complaint online or call (401) 274-4400 [option 4].

View RIAG Investigations and Reports page here.


In the Community

The Civil Rights team plays an important role in the community by serving as a resource to local law enforcement throughout the investigation and/or prosecution of hate crimes. The Civil Rights team also provides civil rights trainings and education to organizations throughout the state.

To schedule a civil rights training for your organization, e-mail civilrights@riag.ri.gov.


Law Enforcement Guidance for Hate Crimes

An effective response to hate crimes and related civil rights violations is imperative for law enforcement in Rhode Island to ensure that the community and law enforcement are aligned in the shared goal of reducing crime targeted at minorities and other vulnerable groups.

We issued law enforcement guidance for hate crime investigations to address misconduct motivated by bigotry or hatred of protected groups and to improve policing in Rhode Island.

This guidance recommends that each police department designate a Hate Crimes and Civil Rights Liaison, who will serve as a department contact to the Civil Rights Team.



Additional Resources

The Civil Rights team is not the only governmental civil rights resource available; there are several other state and federal agencies that have broad jurisdiction to investigate possible civil rights violations:

The Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights
(401) 222-2661

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(800) 669-4000

The U.S. Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
(800) 669-9777

The U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights
(401) 421-3481

The U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division
(401) 514-4609

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights       
(202) 376-8513


If you believe you have been a victim of a crime, including a hate crime, please contact the Rhode Island State Police or your local police department before submitting a complaint to the Attorney General’s Office.

In an emergency, please call 911 immediately.