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Grand Rapids fingerprint practice declared unconstitutional

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The court unanimously said Grand Rapids police violated the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

The Michigan Supreme Court says the practice of fingerprinting people without probable cause or a warrant is unconstitutional. The court unanimously said Grand Rapids police violated the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

The incidents involved two Black teenagers in 2011 and 2012, though the American Civil Liberties Union said photos and fingerprints were taken from thousands of people in Grand Rapids. Denishio Johnson was stopped after cutting through the parking lot of a fitness club where there had been vehicle thefts.

Keyon Harrison was stopped after handing a model train engine to someone. He said it was part of a school project. Johnson and Harrison were photographed and fingerprinted but not charged with crimes.

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