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Case of teens swabbed for DNA at impasse

Gun found in one boy's backpack a moot point

Police shouldn't be allowed to take DNA samples from minors without parental consent, says the ACLU.
Police shouldn't be allowed to take DNA samples from minors without parental consent, says the ACLU.

The city and attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union have walked away from a settlement in the case over San Diego police officers collecting DNA from minors without parental notification.

In July of this year both sides notified the court that they had reached a "substantial settlement." But in late September, attorneys informed the court that there was no longer a settlement and they would be moving forward with the trial.

In March 2016, a black teenager, known as P.D., and four of his friends walked through Memorial Park near Logan Heights after a game of basketball.

Police officers were also at the park, on the lookout for gang activity — that day in March was reputedly a West Coast Crips holiday.

Two officers approached the teenagers. The officers detained them for questioning. In court, one officer later admitted that the reason they questioned the group was because they were black.

The officers placed some of the boys in handcuffs. They searched through P.D.'s duffle bag without permission and found an unloaded revolver that was registered to one boy's father.

The officers, Aziz Brou and Kelly Stewart, then swabbed the teens' mouths to collect their DNA. The officers failed to get permission from their parents, which according to the American Civil Liberties Union, violated state law.

According to a lawsuit filed in February of this year, state law prohibits taking DNA samples from minors and adding it to the state database. Yet, while the state outlaws the collection, the city has its own law that allows collection and placement into a city database as long as the parent is notified.

In June 2016, a juvenile-court judge dismissed the charges against P.D., citing issues with the detainment of the boys solely because they were walking in the park.

The American Civil Liberties Union's suit demanded that the city amend the law to require that parents be informed and give permission before any samples are taken. Now the issue will go before a judge.

Attorneys for the ACLU declined to comment on the case.

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Police shouldn't be allowed to take DNA samples from minors without parental consent, says the ACLU.
Police shouldn't be allowed to take DNA samples from minors without parental consent, says the ACLU.

The city and attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union have walked away from a settlement in the case over San Diego police officers collecting DNA from minors without parental notification.

In July of this year both sides notified the court that they had reached a "substantial settlement." But in late September, attorneys informed the court that there was no longer a settlement and they would be moving forward with the trial.

In March 2016, a black teenager, known as P.D., and four of his friends walked through Memorial Park near Logan Heights after a game of basketball.

Police officers were also at the park, on the lookout for gang activity — that day in March was reputedly a West Coast Crips holiday.

Two officers approached the teenagers. The officers detained them for questioning. In court, one officer later admitted that the reason they questioned the group was because they were black.

The officers placed some of the boys in handcuffs. They searched through P.D.'s duffle bag without permission and found an unloaded revolver that was registered to one boy's father.

The officers, Aziz Brou and Kelly Stewart, then swabbed the teens' mouths to collect their DNA. The officers failed to get permission from their parents, which according to the American Civil Liberties Union, violated state law.

According to a lawsuit filed in February of this year, state law prohibits taking DNA samples from minors and adding it to the state database. Yet, while the state outlaws the collection, the city has its own law that allows collection and placement into a city database as long as the parent is notified.

In June 2016, a juvenile-court judge dismissed the charges against P.D., citing issues with the detainment of the boys solely because they were walking in the park.

The American Civil Liberties Union's suit demanded that the city amend the law to require that parents be informed and give permission before any samples are taken. Now the issue will go before a judge.

Attorneys for the ACLU declined to comment on the case.

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Something bad happened, and the obvious remedy is for me to collect hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars!

Oct. 28, 2017

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