Class Action Lawsuit Challenges Constitutionality of Stops and Data Collection
The Partnership for Civil Justice, a Washington DC-based civil rights and legal organization, filed a class action lawsuit today in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia seeking an injunction against the Metropolitan Police Department’s Neighborhood Safety Zone checkpoint program.
The lawsuit asserts that the roadblock program instituted in recent weeks is an unconstitutional suspicionless seizure of persons traveling on public roadways in the District of Columbia. The lawsuit also challenges the District’s use of these mass civil rights violations to collect and aggregate data on the movements, activities and associations of law abiding residents and visitors to the District and seeks expungement of this information.
The checkpoints are an extraordinary expansion of police power to stop, seize and interrogate individuals without any probable cause or suspicion of illegal activity. They are also ineffective at stopping crime.
“People want their children to be able to walk the streets in their neighborhood in a safe and secure environment. The District’s military-style roadblock system was deployed, in part, to give the appearance that the government is addressing this deeply felt need. But it is neither constitutional, nor effective. There is an urgent need to tackle the problems of violence, street crime, unemployment and education. This roadblock does not address any of them,” states the Class Action Complaint.
Copies of the Class Action Complaint, Mills v. District of Columbia can be read by clicking here , and the Memorandum of Law in Support of a Preliminary Injunction can be read by clicking here.
The attorneys on the lawsuit are Mara Verheyden-Hilliard and Carl Messineo, co-founders of the Partnership for Civil Justice.