On August 23, 2009 the ACLU-NJ filed a lawsuit on behalf of two African American teenagers and their Pop Warner football coach against the Newark Police Department. The three were held at gunpoint during an illegal police stop in Newark.
On the night of June 14, 2008, Tony Ivey Jr., Faheem Loyal and their football coach Kelvin Lamar James were on their way home from a day spent with their Pop Warner football team, the North Ward Scorpions, they were pulled over by several Newark Police Officers. Ivey was 13 years old at the time and Loyal was 15. The officers proceeded to pull them out of the car in the rain and held them at gunpoint while they searched them and the car. When James commented that the officers' search of his car violated his rights, he was told by an officer in obscene, threatening language that they didn't have any rights and that the police could do what they want and "had no rules." At the end of the search it was found that the three had committed no crimes, and a thorough search of the car turned up only football equipment.
The ACLU-NJ's complaint in this matter alleges that the police officers' action violated the students' and coach's right to be free from unlawful searches and unlawful detention, to equal treatment, and violates their rights under the New Jersey Civil Rights Act and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. The lawsuit demands that Newark takes all steps necessary to establish proper training and supervision with respect to searches and detentions, unlawful discrimination, and the proper handling of complaints. It also sought damages for the unlawful actions taken by the police against the students and coach. This case has been settled.
- Jetter-Ivey: Complaint (35 KB pdf)