A Teenager Sued SDPD, and Was Documented as a Gang Member Soon After

In June 2016, a juvenile court judge dismissed the charges against P.D., finding that police based their decision to stop the teens on race and lacked probable cause to search P.D.’s bag.

The ACLU’s lawsuit, filed in federal court, makes a similar argument: that police targeted P.D. because he was black, and violated his Fourth Amendment rights when they detained and searched him. The lawsuit also asks a judge to find the department’s DNA policy unconstitutional. Under state law, only minors who’ve been found guilty of a felony or convicted of a sexual offense are required to provide a DNA sample. The San Diego Police Department gets around this rule by maintaining its own database — one that’s not linked to state or federal DNA databases. Department policy requires officers to get a signed consent from the minor, but doesn’t require them to notify the minor’s parent or guardian.

The policy “contains no protections to ensure a child’s consent is given knowingly and voluntarily,” the ACLU’s lawsuit argues, and “permits officers to obtain a minor’s consent in the same manner that they obtain an adult’s consent.”

Experts I spoke to earlier this year said they were unaware of any other law enforcement agencies in California that collect DNA from juveniles in the field. They questioned why police can’t wait and get a warrant if a minor’s DNA sample is critical to a case.

The lawsuit isn’t the first time the department’s been sued over improper DNA collection. In 2013, the city agreed to pay a $35,000 settlement and destroy DNA samples police had collected without cause from the family of a parolee.

In July, the lawsuit involving P.D. was close to being settled. Both parties were scheduled to finalize things in mid-August, court records show. But then the city withdrew from settlement talks.

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 3206 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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