On March 18, 2003, attorneys from the ACLU filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against the City of Los Angeles. The plaintiffs challenged unlawful parole sweeps and parole searches in the Skid Row section of ...
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On March 18, 2003, attorneys from the ACLU filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against the City of Los Angeles. The plaintiffs challenged unlawful parole sweeps and parole searches in the Skid Row section of the city. In a study, the ACLU found that seventy percent of the people picked up either had no violations or had never been on parole or probation.
In December 2003 the City agreed to entry of a a three year
injunction prohibiting the LAPD from searching Skid Row residents without reasonable suspicion that they have committed a crime or violated probation or parole. At the end of that three-year period, the plaintiff class petitioned the U.S. District Court to extend the 2003 injunction for an additional 3 years,
based on evidence that LAPD was again unlawfully searching and detaining residents without reason to believe they had committed a crime or violated probation or parole. On April 24, 2007, the Court found that the LAPD continued to engage in unconstitutional searches and maintain unconstitutional search policies, and extend the injunction for four months to allow the City to bring their policies and practices into compliance with the Constitution.
In August 2007, the plaintiffs again moved for extension of the
injunction, based on the lack of any change in LAPD search policies and continuing unconstitutional searches and detentions by LAPD officers in Skid Row. The court extended the injunction while the parties entered settlement discussions around LAPD's search and detention policies on Skid Row.
On February 17, 2009, the parties entered into another settlement agreement, which lifted the present injunction and dismissed the case. Under this agreement, searches incident to arrest would not be permitted when the person is merely cited and released in the field for an infraction or misdemeanor. Suspicionless searches of parolees would be permitted as long as the officers have prior knowledge of the search subject's parole status, and the search is not arbitrary or harassing. In order to frisk persons for weapons, the officers must have a reasonable suspicion that the search subject is armed or dangerous. Warrant checks were to be permitted on all detainees, within a reasonable time frame. Officers were to be trained in the proper way to carry out these provisions.Kristen Sagar - 06/20/2009