The Los Angeles Times reports that the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California (ACLU-SCA) has announced that it has reached settlements with the city of Glendale and the Glendale Unified School District on behalf of eight Latino students who alleged that officials engaged in racial profiling and illegal searches during a 2010 incident at Hoover High School. The suit alleged that more than 50 Latino students were allegedly detained by Glendale and Los Angeles police officers who questioned them about possible gang affiliations.
The students were also allegedly forced to pose for mock police mug shots. In addition, the ACLU-SCA charged that officials targeted Latino students because of their race, and that there was no evidence the students were violating laws at the time they were questioned. According to the settlement agreements, the city agreed to pay $50,000 to the ACLU-SCA Client Trust Fund, and the Glendale district and its defendants agreed to pay $50,000 to the ACLU Foundation of Southern California.
“Unlike most cities, police departments or school districts, Glendale did not try to sweep this under the rug,” said Bert Voorhees, who served as an attorney for the plaintiffs. David Sapp, an attorney for the ACLU-SCA, also commended the school district and city of Glendale for “using this incident as an opportunity to review their current practices and adopt new policies that will ensure that students’ rights are protected on campus.”
Under the agreement, Glendale Unified and the city’s police department revised their policies regarding future police activities on school grounds. In November 2012, the school board approved district-wide policy changes that require school officials to notify the parents of students who are questioned on campus by police. Glendale Unified and police officials also agreed to verify that information collected during the interrogations has been destroyed.
Source: Los Angeles Times, 2/6/13, By Kelly Corrigan
[Editor's Note: In December 2012, Legal Clips summarized an article in The Salt Lake Tribune, which reported that the ACLU had filed a proposed class-action lawsuit over a 2010 “gang sweep” at West High School in Salt Lake City, during which 14 to 40 students of color were detained, questioned, and falsely accused of being gang members. The federal lawsuit named as defendants the police departments for Salt Lake City, West Jordan, and West Valley cities, the Unified Police Department’s Metro Gang Unit, Salt Lake County, and Salt Lake City School District officials.
In April 2012, Legal Clips summarized an article in the Glendale News-Press, which reported that the ACLU-SCA had entered into preliminary negotiations with the city of Glendale and Glendale Unified School District regarding a lawsuit alleging racial profiling of Latino students at Hoover High School.]