Court rejects challenge in Grand Rapids fingerprint lawsuit

Posted at 12:39 PM, May 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-24 12:39:29-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan appeals court has affirmed a decision in favor of Grand Rapids police in a dispute over taking photographs and fingerprints of people who lack identification.

The lawsuit was filed in 2014, before Grand Rapids changed the photo-and-fingerprint policy. The change was made to improve relationships between police and residents.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a young man who was photographed and fingerprinted in 2011. A health club told police that the man appeared to be looking into car windows. He wasn’t charged.

The appeals court says officers have immunity because it’s not clearly established that fingerprinting and photographing someone without ID violates the U.S. Constitution.

In 2015, Grand Rapids police said fingerprints would be taken from people without ID only if their behavior was “highly suspicious.”