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Some LAPD efforts unconstitutional

April 25, 2007 at 5:22 PM

LOS ANGELES, April 25 (UPI) -- A U.S. district judge ruled Wednesday that certain aspects of the Los Angeles Police Department's efforts to improve downtown conditions are unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson ruled that police officers had to eliminate unconstitutional searches of probationers and parolees without proper evidence as part of their efforts to rid downtown of crime and homeless people, The Los Angeles Times said.

The searches were part of an increased police presence in downtown Los Angeles that have resulted in a 35 percent drop in area crime during the last six months.

While city officials disagreed with Pregerson's decision in the American Civil Liberties Union suit, some legal experts applauded the court's attempt to protect individual citizen's constitutional rights.

"It's an important decision," Loyola Law School Professor Laurie Levenson told the Times. "It sort of resolves an argument percolating out there, that ... the LAPD would have permission to stop anybody."

In addition to ordering the police to alter such unconstitutional tactics, Pregerson set a review date of the injunction for August, the Times said.

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