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Michigan court declines to examine police “photograph and print” policy

a police squad car
Flickr user Scott Davidson/Flickr

A controversial Grand Rapids police procedure can continue, for now. A Michigan Court of Appeals chose to not decide if the so-called P and P procedure is constitutional.

Grand Rapids police officers stopped a young man in a parking lot and took his picture and fingerprints because he didn’t have an ID on him.

Miriam Aukerman is a senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan. She said this policy is akin to “stop and frisk” and disproportionately affects young black men.

“The photograph and print procedure is an example of the type of aggressive police tactics that undermine trust and lead to a feeling of a community being policed rather than that they’re operating in partnership,” she said.

Lawyers for the police department argued that the officer’s actions were not based on race and the stop was based on reasonable suspicion.

But Aukerman argues that the policy does violate the Fourth Amendment.

“None of us believe that if walk out of the house in the morning, and forget your wallet and forget your purse that you should end up in a government database in the afternoon,” she said.

Aukerman says she has been told the Grand Rapids police are not using the procedure as much.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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