State law frowns on collecting DNA from juveniles: Cops can’t take samples from minors except in limited cases. That means they can’t force kids they detain on the street to immediately submit to mouth swabs.
Or can they? The San Diego Police Department appears to have found a way to bypass the rules, VOSD contributor Kelly Davis reports: “According to department policy, as long as a DNA profile remains in the local database, officers can collect DNA from anyone for ‘investigative purposes.’ The policy requires only that officers get a signed consent from the minor. It doesn’t require them to notify the minor’s parent or guardian until after the sample’s been taken.”
The ACLU is targeting the policy in a new lawsuit revolving around a specific case, arguing that juveniles can’t give consent. “The lawsuit also raises questions about which juveniles are being targeted by the policy and why.”
The case involves a group of juveniles stopped in Logan Heights for the crime of walking in a public park while wearing some blue clothing.
An ACLU attorney tells us: “There’s very little in terms of protection built into the policy. Nothing stops the city from just maintaining this stuff indefinitely, other than the Constitution, I hope.” The Police Department hasn’t commented on the suit.
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