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San Francisco sued by lady who says her rape-kit DNA was used to arrest her


San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott wearing a mask and sitting at a table.
Enlarge / San Francisco Police Chief Invoice Scott solutions questions in a gathering with the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022.

San Francisco Chronicle/Hearst Newspapers by way of Getty Photos

San Francisco has been sued by a sexual assault sufferer in a grievance that describes “the San Francisco Police Division’s stunning follow of putting crime victims’ DNA right into a everlasting database with out the victims’ information or consent.”

“Plaintiff Jane Doe, a sexual assault survivor, was re-victimized by this unconstitutional follow,” alleged the lawsuit filed Monday in US District Courtroom for the Northern District of California. “In 2016, she offered a DNA pattern to the San Francisco Police Division as a part of its investigation into her sexual assault. Nevertheless, she by no means consented to it to be saved or used for another function. Nonetheless, the Division maintained Plaintiff Doe’s DNA within the database for greater than six years.”

Based on the lawsuit, Jane Doe was arrested on housebreaking costs in 2021 after DNA from a criminal offense scene apparently matched the DNA she offered 5 years earlier. The costs had been finally dropped.

The SFPD follow beforehand got here to mild in February 2022, as we wrote on the time. Chesa Boudin, who was then the district lawyer, issued a press launch denouncing the police division follow during which the “crime lab makes an attempt to establish crime suspects by looking a database of DNA proof that comprises DNA collected from rape and sexual assault victims.” Boudin mentioned he realized of the follow when a girl’s DNA collected years beforehand throughout a rape examination was used to hyperlink her to a property crime.

Outcry spurred adjustments

Beneath the coverage, SFPD officers examined “victims’ DNA for matches in each subsequent felony investigation during which genetic materials is recovered with none affordable foundation to suspect the victims are in any method related to those fully unrelated crime scenes,” Jane Doe’s grievance mentioned, including that 1000’s of individuals had been reportedly “subjected to this arbitrary, illegal unconstitutional invasion of privateness.”

Amid widespread condemnation, the SFPD reportedly ended the coverage a few week after the general public revelation. As a result of “the crime lab routinely ran crime scene proof by means of this database that included Plaintiff’s DNA with out ever trying to get her consent or anybody else’s consent,” Jane Doe’s “DNA was probably examined in 1000’s of felony investigations, although the police had completely no purpose to imagine that she was concerned in any of the incidents,” the lawsuit mentioned.

California’s legislature not too long ago authorized a invoice on DNA collected from crime victims “requiring that legislation enforcement companies use these samples just for functions straight associated to the incident being investigated, prohibiting legislation enforcement companies from evaluating these samples with samples that don’t relate to the incident being investigated, and prohibiting legislation enforcement companies from together with these samples in databases that permit the samples to be in comparison with or matched with profiles derived from DNA proof obtained from crime scenes.”

The invoice was authorized by the California Senate and Meeting and awaits Governor Gavin Newsom’s signature.




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