ACLU Commends Governor for Signing AB 1584 into Law

Police Now Prohibited From Taking Minors’ DNA Without a Warrant or Parental Consent

Sept. 27, 2018

Edward Sifuentes
(619) 501-3408

SAN DIEGO – The ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties issued the following statement about Gov. Jerry Brown’s signing of Assembly Bill 1584, a measure that offers greater protections against law enforcement’s warrantless collection of DNA from minors.

“We praise Gov. Brown for signing AB 1584, which was introduced by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher after reading an article about our clients, Jamie Wilson and her teenage son. San Diego Police Department officers wrongly took DNA samples from Wilson’s son without her knowledge or consent during an illegal stop at a neighborhood park,” said Norma Chavez-Peterson, executive director of the ACLUF-SDIC.

“The ACLU commends the initiative and leadership demonstrated by Gonzalez-Fletcher and Governor Brown. This new law sends a powerful message to all Californians, especially our police departments, that there are no loopholes when it comes to protecting our children’s constitutional rights.  It recognizes that parental involvement is necessary to keep youth out of the criminal justice system.”

Under AB 1584, if police officers don’t have a warrant, they may not ask a minor child to give consent for a DNA search and the invasion of privacy it entails without also obtaining the consent of a parent.

This new law will help ensure that no child is needlessly subjected to DNA search, which can reveal highly private information, including familial relationships, propensity for certain diseases and other personal characteristics. Further, Gov. Brown’s decision to sign AB 1584 into law is an important step in helping to bring an end to excessive surveillance of communities of color.