R.S. v. Hudson County

On March 3, 2010, a sixteen-year-old, R.S., was approached by investigators from the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Gang Intelligence Unit while he was walking home from school. He was thrown against a car by the investigators and questioned about his age and whether he was affiliated with a street gang. He was then frisked by the investigators and asked to accompany them to the police station. At no time during this encounter was R.S. told of his right to refuse and he was under the impression that he had to comply with the investigator’s request. At the police station, investigators took his photograph, again without informing R.S. of his right to refuse to have his photograph taken. R.S. was released several hours later into his mother’s custody. On March 8, 2010, R.S.’s mother filed an Internal Affairs complaint with the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office. The Internal Affairs Division of the Prosecutor’s Office agreed with the investigative techniques used by members of the Gang Intelligence Unit. On June 17, 2011, the ACLU-NJ filed a complaint against the officers and the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Gang Intelligence Unit whose policies allow for the unconstitutional seizure of juveniles. This case was settled in June of 2013.

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