The American Civil Liberties Union is helping a mother sue the San Diego Police Department after her son's DNA was collected without her consent.
California law states if law enforcement officers want to obtain DNA from minors and enter the information into a state database, they have to obtain parental consent.
However, SDPD believes that because the DNA evidence is being entered into a local database, the state law doesn’t apply.
Attorneys with the ACLU don’t agree. They’ve filed a lawsuit saying SDPD officers are illegally collecting DNA from minors and they want the practice stopped.
The ACLU said DNA records are kept by SDPD in a database with no oversight. The lawsuit is requesting the records of minors be destroyed from the police database.
The minor involved in the lawsuit was walking through a park and wearing attire with some blue coloring, residents told NBC 7.
When San Diego police stopped the minor, they were investigating a recent gang homicide. Four people were later arrested and charged in connection with the killing.
The minor wasn’t a suspect and was not charged in the case, according to his attorney Bardis Vakili.
The teenager had an unloaded gun in his backpack when he was stopped. However, the gun charge was dismissed by a judge because it was ruled the minor should not have been stopped and searched in the first place, Vakili said.
“That case was tried in the juvenile court and the case was thrown out because of the unlawful search,” the attorney said.
Lincoln Park residents are tired of their children being targeted by law enforcement officers.
“He was walking peacefully through the park with his friends. The police found a gun. That’s all the evidence that is out there,” he added.
The minor had no gang affiliation and no criminal history at the time he was stopped, according to his attorney.