NOPD "informative checkpoints" deployed in N.O.

ACLU says the checkpoints possibly violate drivers' constitutional rights

Kenny Kuhn
April 30, 2020 - 11:40 am

The New Orleans Police stopped drivers at a seat-belt checkpoint and to verbally inform them of the city’s stay-at-home orders despite the Louisiana ACLU’s concern over possible constitutional rights violation.

NOPD officers deployed the checkpoint at the corner of Napoleon Avenue and St. Charles Avenue. The city says officers at the checkpoint will be looking for proper seat belt use and distribute cloth masks to vehicles they stop.

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This comes despite the ACLU of Louisiana urging the NOPD to cancel the planned vehicle stops, citing the checkpoints violate constitutional rights.

“The Constitution is clear: Police cannot stop vehicles and question occupants unless they reasonably suspect criminal activity,” said Alanah Odoms Hebert, ACLU of Louisiana executive director.

“All Louisianans have a basic right to move around the city without being stopped by police unless they are breaking a law. There are far better ways to educate the public about the dangers of COVID-19 than arbitrarily stopping motorists who haven’t done anything wrong. Rather than stopping the spread of COVID-19, these checkpoints will exacerbate it by needlessly increasing the interactions between police and the public. We’re also deeply concerned that these checkpoints will be used as a pretext for invasive and racially-biased searches, fueling our mass incarceration crisis while doing little to improve public safety. We’ll be monitoring NOPD’s implementation closely and standing ready to defend people’s constitutional rights.”

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