Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher Proposal Protecting Minors from Unnecessary DNA Collection Signed into Law
AB 1584 Will Require Law Enforcement to Obtain a Court Order, Warrant, or Parental Consent before Collecting DNA Samples
SACRAMENTO – (Wednesday, September 26, 2018) – A bill authored by California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) protecting minors from unnecessary invasion of privacy was signed by Governor Brown today.
Assembly Bill 1584 will require law enforcement to have a court order, warrant, or consent from both the minor and their parent or legal guardian before collecting a DNA sample. This law will follow the 2004 voter-approved Proposition 69 and will eliminate the loophole that invades a juvenile’s privacy rights.
“As a mother, I was outraged at the reckless approach to juvenile justice. As a legislator, I knew we could close the legal loophole we discovered in San Diego and make sure no other California police department could use these invasive tactics,” said Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher.
In March of 2016, it was reported by the Voice of San Diego that the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) is collecting and storing DNA samples from minors simply for being arrested or under investigation. Even after being found innocent, the children’s DNA was stored in the police database forever, entering the young men into the criminal justice system for doing nothing wrong.
This policy is far outside the mainstream in California as the vast majority of the state’s police departments collect a minor’s DNA only after obtaining a warrant or parental consent, or after the juvenile has been convicted of a serious crime. SDPD was taking advantage of a loophole in the law by storing the DNA samples locally instead of uploading it to the state’s database.
The State Assembly passed AB 1584 by a 55-0 vote and the State Senate by 38-0.
For more information on this issue or to schedule an interview with Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher, contact Mary Latibashvili at (415) 902-3421.
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher represents California’s 80th Assembly District, located in southern San Diego County, including the cities of San Diego, Chula Vista, and National City. She serves as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Appropriations, Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Women in the Workplace, and Vice Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus. For more information on Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher visit https://a80.asmdc.org/