Tuesday, August 30, 2005

ACLU, Flint battle on in nightclub case ACLU says patrons' rights were violated - ABC 12

A decision in the Flint, MI, dance club raid is expected on September 8th...

ACLU, Flint battle on in nightclub case ACLU says patrons' rights were violated
By Josh DeVine

Flint - (08/30/05)--The back and forth continued Tuesday between the American Civil Liberties Union and the city of Flint.

The ACLU says the city's police force crossed the line during a drug bust back in March. Both sides argued it out Tuesday afternoon in front of a judge.

There's still no final decision in the case. It all has to do with a bust at Club What's Next in March.

Police arrested 117 people, charging most with frequenting a drug house. That's a misdemeanor.

But ACLU attorneys say police handcuffed and strip searched those people. They say that further violated their rights and they want their charges thrown out.

The courtroom was again packed before Chief Judge Ramona Roberts.

In arguments Tuesday, the city's attorney said undercover officers smelled marijuana and witnessed several drug deals inside the club that night.

But they argue everyone there knew some people at the club were doing drugs. The ACLU disagrees. Their attorneys say police did not have a right to arrest every person there.

Attorneys for the city say officers had the legal grounds to do what they thought it took to stop the deals. Several people do face felony charges in connection with the night's bust. They're not part of this case.

Roberts will issue her decision on those misdemeanor charges Sept. 8. Either side could appeal from there.



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