Contact: Aaron Regunberg


Prosecutors condone violent attack by guards against protesters and immigrant activists in August

OCTOBER 23, 2019, PROVIDENCE, R.I.—In reaction to the announcement by Attorney General Peter Neronha on Wednesday that Thomas Woodworth will not be charged after he drove his truck into a group of peaceful protesters at the Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, Never Again Action Rhode Island issued the following statement:

“We are greatly disappointed that Mr. Woodworth will not be held accountable for his irresponsible, dangerous, and violent actions against peaceful protesters on August 14, nor will the officers who recklessly deployed pepper spray into the crowd that night. Yet, we are not surprised. Witnesses who testified before the grand jury, including those who were hit by the truck, reported that prosecutors focused only on the supposed ‘danger’ of unarmed protesters in an effort to justify Woodworth's and his colleagues’ self-evidently indefensible actions. This strategy, employed by Attorney General Neronha's prosecutors, is used repeatedly by investigators across the country probing police violence against citizens.

This illuminates what communities of color have always known to be true. What Neronha announced, in effect, is that in the state of Rhode Island, there is no equal protection of the law. Immigrants can be imprisoned for no crime but seeking a better life for their families. People of color can be arrested for the most minor nonviolent drug crimes. But law enforcement—even privatized law enforcement—has no accountability for violently assaulting peaceful demonstrators on camera.

If these officers, acting in their official capacity, acted with such violence toward protesters, we can only imagine how they treat the immigrants and asylum-seekers in their charge on a regular basis. Mr. Woodworth should be in jail but, more importantly, the Wyatt should be shut down, the state should ban all collaboration with ICE, and ICE detainees at the Wyatt should be freed.

We condemn Neronha and his prosecutors for their handling of this case, and we once again call on Governor Raimondo, the General Assembly, and the Mayor and City Council of Central Falls to do everything in their power to shut this dangerous and immoral facility down, and to prevent its sale to a completely unaccountable out-of-state private prison company.”

ADVISORY: Members of Never Again will be gathering at 3 p.m. outside the Attorney General’s Office to share their outrage.


Never Again Action is a mass mobilization of Jews who are organizing to shut down ICE and hold the political establishment accountable for enabling the deportation machine that has separated immigrant families across the U.S. for decades and for the current crisis at the border.

We come together as a group of differently affiliated Jewish organizers, alongside immigrants and allies, recognizing that we have seen this groundwork laid before. We understand it to be our community’s obligation to stand up when we see history repeat itself and to declare that Never Again means Never Again for anybody.

Never Again Action