Two years ago I reported about a particularly heinous police action in Flint, Michigan. Innocent partygoers at Club What’s Next were strip searched and arrested for “frequenting a drug establishment” simply because someone else at the club possessed illegal drugs.
Fortunately, on October 13, a judge threw out the cases. And now today…
Detroit — The American Civil Liberties of Michigan filed a class action lawsuit in Federal District Court today against the City of Flint, the Flint Police Department and Genesee County Sheriff Department on behalf of 40 innocent young men and women who were strip and/or cavity searched and wrongfully arrested during a 2005 raid of a licensed Flint nightclub.
‹These young people simply did what thousands like them do all over the country š they went to a licensed and legal club to listen to music, dance and socialize,Š said Kary Moss, Executive Director of the ACLU of Michigan. ‹A judge has already agreed with us that the arrests were unlawful and we now seek to hold Flint and Genesee County accountable for their reckless disregard for the patrons‰ rights and to ensure that these practices are abolished.Š
Communities have to be made to pay. If that’s the only way to stop the un-American, un-Constitutional, and unacceptable abuses of drug war power, then so be it. Let every community that turns its police force over to an oversight-free multi-jurisdictional task force pay. Every community that turns a blind eye to abuse because they’ve been told it’s “for the children” — let them pay.
And to Corey and all the others who have endured both the indignity of the event and the two years that followed, thanks for being willing to stand up for the rights of all of us.