Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lambda Legal Sues Atlanta PD; Police Chief Resigns

In what is certainly no coincidence, Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington and Assistant Chief Alan Dreher have resigned only weeks before the current administration was to leave office.

This news comes in less than a day after Lambda Legal announced their intent to file a federal lawsuit against the City of Atlanta, officially titled Calhoun v. Pennington. The lawsuit alleges violations of the United States Constitution, as well as the Georgia Constitution and Official Code of Georgia (OCGA).

The lawsuit's full text is not immediately available, but likely cites at least the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Specifically, the patrons of Atlanta Eagle were subject to searches and background checks without warrants issued in their names, and allegedly without probable cause to institute those searches and background checks.

Co-counsel Dan Grossman explained, in plain terms, the alleged violations committed by the Atlanta Police Department:

Imagine if police walk into a Wal-Mart and see someone shoplifting, and because they see what they think is a crime taking place at Wal-Mart, they take everyone at Wal-Mart, throw them on the floor, spread their legs, put their hands in their pockets, take their IDs, and put their names in a computer simply because they're at a place where someone else might or might not be doing something wrong.

This lawsuit does not yet have its own page on Lambda Legal's docket Web page, but should be listed there soon. (The likely location will be this link.)

1 comment:

  1. A complete copy of the lawsuit file by Dan Grossman, the Southern Center for Human Rights, and Lambda Legal is available for download at http://AtlantaEagleRaid.com