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ACLU: Michigan Supreme Court Case Step In Right Direction For Police Relationships With Communities

Wikipedia Media Commons

The Michigan Supreme Courtwon’t decide if a controversial practice by the Grand Rapids Police Departmentis constitutional.  It did make a decision that advocates say could improve police relations in the future.

The court declined to decide if police can stop someone and then take their fingerprints and photograph them if the person doesn’t have ID.  It kicked that question back to a lower court.  But it did decide a related question.  

The court says if police act in an unconstitutional way, the city or municipality can be held accountable.  Grand Rapids had argued it should not be sued over policies the department adopts on its own. 

Miriam Aukerman is with the ACLU of Michigan.

“It’s an important win for accountability, responsibility, making sure the police conform to the constitution.”

Aukerman says holding cities accountable for the police departments could mean a greater partnership between cities and law enforcement.

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—Cheyna Roth is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org

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