ACLU: Marin fair gang garb policy targets Latino youth

Nels Johnson (Marin Independent Journal) | June 25, 2013

If you’re headed to the Marin County Fair next week, a top civil liberties lawyer advises leaving your Oakland A’s and other ball caps at home along with your Ralph Lauren Chaps gear — and in any case avoid wearing red or blue garb, even on the Fourth of July.

Marin’s new ordinance cracking down on gang attire at the fair means that “hundreds, and probably thousands” of fairgoers will run the risk of violations, according to a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, adding that as a practical matter Latino youth are the real targets of a code that in effect formalizes racial profiling.

“Given this county’s identified gang population, it is Latino youth who will be taking a risk … not white youth wearing the identical items,” declared Alan L. Schlosser of Mill Valley, legal director of the ACLU of Northern California.

Undersheriff Mike Ridgway begged to differ, saying the county law does not discriminate and was “carefully crafted by attorneys to pass constitutional muster” while providing a more transparent process that includes advance notice of the gang insignia at issue.

Read more at: http://www.marinij.com/sanrafael/ci_23537794/aclu-marin-fair-gang-garb-policy-targets-latino

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