The city of San Diego has "substantially settled," according to the federal court's website, a lawsuit filed on behalf of a black teenager who was coerced into giving his DNA sample to police without parental notification.
While details of the settlement have not been made public, city councilmembers did discuss the case during their August 1 closed session meeting.
P.D., a black teenage minor and four of his friends were walking in Memorial Park on March 30, 2016 after a game of basketball. The park is located at 30th Street and Ocean View Bouevard, next to the Logan Heights library. San Diego police officers had been stationed at the park to look out for potential gang activity, as March 30 is known to be a West Coast Crips holiday. Two detectives drove into the park to the group of teenagers, despite no evidence they were associated with any gangs and no visual indications they were displaying any gang colors.
The officers told the teenagers to take seats on a nearby bleacher. A search in the city's gang database found no signs of the boy's names. The two officers, Aziz Brou and Kelly Stewart, later admitted in court that they had detained the boys only because they were young black males.
Despite no evidence of wrongdoing, the officers patted the teenagers down and placed handcuffs on them, subsequently separating them for questioning. Officer Brou then searched P.D.'s duffle bag and found an unloaded revolver that was registered to one of the boy's father. The officers arrested P.D. but before doing so they collected DNA samples from the other teenagers, as well as from P.D who had given permission while he was handcuffed in the back of the police cruiser.
P.D. was then taken to juvenile hall and questioned for several hours. During the interrogation, according to a February 2017 federal complaint filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on the teenager's behalf, officers called P.D. a "fuck up" and told him he wouldn't amount to anything.
In June 2016 a juvenile court judge dismissed the charges stating it had “a problem with the actual detention right off the bat of five people just walking in the park.”
In February San Diego's ACLU chapter filed a lawsuit seeking to stop further collection of DNA from minors without first obtaining a warrant or parental consent. According to the lawsuit, state law prohibits the collection of minor's DNA samples and the placement of it into a statewide database. San Diego, however, has its own laws which permit collection and inclusion into a city database only if a parent is notified after the fact.
According to the court's website, the two sides reached an agreement during an July 14 mediation. "Case has substantially settled," reads the case docket. "Parties to meet and confer to clarify one area of settlement."
Attorneys for both sides will update the court on August 10 regarding the terms of the settlement.
A spokesperson for the ACLU declined to comment, citing pending litigation.