Class Action Suit Over DNA Testing

In early 2004, hundreds of black men were persuaded to submit to DNA testing in the years-old hunt for the serial rapist, told that they could eliminate themselves from the suspect pool (which consisted of all black men in Charlottesville) if they did so. The ensuing controversy made national news in April, leading to the suspension of the dragnet by Chief Timothy Longo. All of this resulted in Larry Monroe filing a $15,000 lawsuit against Detective James Mooney in July of last year, citing harassment. Monroe looks absolutely nothing like the description of the rapist, other than being a black man. The suit was dismissed.

Now Monroe has filed a class-action lawsuit against the detective, the police department, and the city, John Yellig writes in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Monroe alleges violations of his constitutional rights, including the 14th (equal protection) and 4th (unlawful search and seizure) amendments. Once again, only $15,000 in damages is sought. A particularly interesting bit of the lawsuit is the allegation that a report was filed within the police department regarding anybody who refused to submit to the DNA test — it’s not known what the purpose of those reports were, or what’s become of them.

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