The Raleigh-based group challenged the practice in a March 6 letter to Assistant City Attorney Curt Euler. “With regard to the posting of arrestees’ names and photos on the police blotter and on the government-access channel, it appears that this practice violates the arrestees’ right to be free from punishment prior to conviction,” Legal Director Katherine Parker wrote.
“Based on our discussion yesterday, it appears that the purpose is punitive and therefore unconstitutional,” the letter continues, referring to a phone conversation with Euler. The ACLU also takes issue with the Police Department’s practice of sending postcards to the owners of vehicles seen making the rounds in areas known for prostitution. “In addition to the concern that this program imposes punishment on these individuals … we have concerns that this practice violates individuals’ fundamental right to travel,” the letter notes.
The correspondence concludes with a word of advice: “We strongly recommend that you reconsider implementation of these programs.”
And see a more in-depth report in the March 19 issue of Xpress.
— Rebecca Bowe, contributing editor