RI ACLU Files Amicus Brief in First Circuit in Support of Central Falls Soccer Players

This week, the Rhode Island ACLU filed a “friend of the court” brief in the First Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the appeal by a group of Central Falls High School students who were subject to a controversial search by Coventry Police after a school soccer game in 2006. Last year, a federal judge dismissed the students’ lawsuit, ruling that the police could have reasonably believed that the search did not violate the students’ constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

The ACLU brief, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit by volunteer attorney Thomas Bender, urges the court to reverse that ruling. The brief argues that the lower court’s decision presents a “constitutionally untenable situation” that “effectively frees local police to conduct criminal investigative searches on any public school student simply by obtaining the consent of an official of that student’s school.”

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