ACLU files suit over alleged racial profiling of students

Megan O’Neil (Los Angeles Times) | October 14, 2011
The ACLU of Southern California filed suit Thursday against Glendale Unified administrators and three law enforcement agencies, alleging that about 55 Latino high school students were illegally detained, searched and interrogated in what the civil rights organization called “a textbook case of racial profiling.”

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, alleges that the Hoover High School students were rounded up at lunch on Sept. 24, 2010, detained for at least an hour in two classrooms and intimidated and frisked by Glendale and Los Angeles police officers.

At a news conference Thursday in south Glendale, ACLU representatives said the students were asked for personal information, including addresses and telephone numbers; interrogated about any scars, tattoos and gang affiliations; and “repeatedly threatened” by police.

In addition to a handful of school district officials, the lawsuit, filed on behalf of several Hoover High School families, names the Glendale and Los Angeles police departments and the Los Angeles County Probation Department. The suit seeks unspecified damages.

“The school officials and police had no evidence that the students were doing anything illegal or breaking any school rules at the time they were rounded up,” said ACLU attorney David Sapp. “The facts in this case also make it clear that these students were targeted because they are Latino.”
Glendale Unified School District spokesman Steven Frasher defended the operation, describing it as an educational effort to deter students from falling into gangs.
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