Thursday, February 2, 2023

Play

Palestinian advocates praise a new fact sheet on discrimination, Pennsylvania considers extending deadlines for abuse claims, and North Dakota's corporate farming debate affects landowners and tribes.

Play

Vice President Kamala Harris urges Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, the House begins the process to impeach the Homeland Security Secretary, and the Federal Reserve nudges interest rates up.

Play

Is bird flu, inflation or price gouging to blame for astronomical egg prices? Pregnancy can be life-changing or life-ending depending on where you live, and nine tribal schools are transforming their outdoor spaces into community gathering areas.

Settlement Reached in SD Over Unlawful Drug Tests

Play

Thursday, September 17, 2020   

RAPID CITY, S.D. -- A settlement tied to claims of unlawful drug tests issued by several South Dakota law-enforcement agencies has won approval in federal court.

The judge ruled more than $400,000 will be split among those who were the subject of forced catheterizations after they were suspected of being drug users. In April, the judge ruled those tests violated the Fourth Amendment.

Jim Leach, an attorney in Rapid City, worked with the American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota on the case on behalf of the individuals.

He said there was little question these people had used drugs, but that doesn't mean the actions of police were justified.

"What it gets to is a point in constitutional law that says that police cannot use every possible method to obtain criminal evidence in a case," Leach said.

The agencies named in the lawsuit were police departments in Pierre, Sisseton and Wagner, as well as the South Dakota Highway Patrol.

South Dakota is the only state where ingesting a controlled substance is considered a felony.

Activists say cases such as this underscore the need for the state to adopt criminal-justice reform.

Supporters of that approach hope South Dakota takes a step forward if voters approve a ballot measure this November that would legalize marijuana for those 21 and older.

Meanwhile, Leach said for his clients, the aggressive tactics may have resulted in a settlement, but the emotional scars will linger.

"They all have problems, afterwards, from it," Leach said. "And they're pleased, mainly, that this is never likely to happen to anyone again."

In these situations, police obtained search warrants for urine samples to detect the presence of drugs.

None of those warrants specifically authorized forced catheterization as a means of obtaining evidence.


get more stories like this via email

Nearly 24% of households in Massachusetts reported speaking something other than English at home as their primary shared language, which is higher than the national average of nearly 22%. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Lawmakers and immigrants-rights activists in the Commonwealth are hoping to pass the Language Access and Inclusion Act, which would dramatically …


Environment

New U.S. Department of Agriculture rules will target fraud and increase oversight of the $64 billion-a-year organic food industry. In Iowa, the …

Social Issues

By Jennifer Weiss-Wolf for Ms. Magazine.Broadcast version by Eric Galatas for Colorado News Connection reporting for the Ms. Magazine-Public News …


Projections indicate that by 2030, nearly 40% of all Americans living with Alzheimer's will be Black or Latino. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

With Black History Month underway, Wisconsin researchers and support groups are highlighting the disparities in cases of Alzheimer's disease…

Environment

North Dakota's plan to boost animal agriculture has reignited a thorny issue: loosening restrictions on corporate ownership of farms. The state said …

The Bonneville Power Administration has about 15,000 miles of transmission lines in the Northwest. (Cam/Adobe Stock)

Environment

Oregon is pursuing an aggressive climate plan to switch to renewable energy sources, but it faces one often overlooked issue: enough high-voltage …

Social Issues

A measure in the Washington State Legislature would provide free school meals to K-12 students, but nutrition service workers are worried they are …

Social Issues

Advocates and stakeholders have solutions for the Virginia Employment Commission to get through its backlog of unemployment appeal cases. According …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021