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ACLU Files Lawsuit Against SDPD Over Juvenile DNA Policy

Teens head out after class at a San Diego County high school.
Ana Tintocalis
Teens head out after class at a San Diego County high school.
ACLU Files Lawsuit Against SDPD Over Juvenile DNA Policy
ACLU Files Lawsuit Against SDPD Over Juvenile DNA Policy GUESTS: Kelly Davis, freelance journalist Bardis Vakili, senior staff attorney, ACLU San Diego and Imperial Counties

Under California’s Proposition 69, which was approved by voters in 2004, law enforcement agencies are allowed to collect DNA samples from all felons.

Yet, the San Diego Police Department is reportedly collecting DNA samples from juveniles who haven’t been charged with a crime.

The American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego and Imperial Counties filed a lawsuit this week against SDPD over a department policy that allows officers to collect DNA from juveniles, without a warrant, as long as they get signed consent from the minor. The policy does not require parental notification.

The lawsuit argues a minor’s consent isn’t enough and the department’s policy side steps state law prohibiting such collection.

Voice of San Diego contributor Kelly Davis wrote this week about the case that prompted the lawsuit.

We reached out to the police department for comment. In a statement, department spokesman Lt. Scott Wahl wrote:

“We have just been made aware of the lawsuit filed by the ACLU.  This case is pending litigation we therefore cannot comment further.”

Davis and Bardis Vakili, senior staff attorney with the ACLU discuss the city’s controversial juvenile DNA policy Thursday on Midday Edition.