This small Louisiana town is jailing people over a ‘hunch’ or ‘feeling’

An investigation by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division found that Ville Platte, Louisiana, routinely holds people in jail without probable cause in violation of the Fourth Amendment. In fact, the DOJ reports, local law enforcement often “use investigative holds where they lack sufficient evidence to make an arrest, but instead have a ‘hunch’ or ‘feeling’ that a person may be involved in criminal activity.” One sheriff’s officer described personally jailing people based solely on his possession of “a pretty good feeling” or “gut instinct.” These investigative holds last “for 72 hours and sometimes longer,” and the individuals jailed are “strip-searched, placed in holding cells without beds, toilets, or showers, and denied communication with family members and loved ones.” In one case cited in the report, a woman taken into custody was strip-searched, required to remove her tampon, and jailed overnight without access to sanitary products. She was not suspected of having any involvement in the robbery about which she was questioned. All told, law enforcement in Ville Platte conducted about 900 arrests and holds between 2012 and 2014 alone — potentially affecting more than 10 percent of the town’s 7,000 people — that were “not even ostensibly supported by probable cause.” The DOJ report recommends a number of reforms to the local police and sheriff’s offices to address these patterns and will continue to work with both departments to ensure changes are pursued. Bonnie Kristian

Source: This small Louisiana town is jailing people over a ‘hunch’ or ‘feeling’

 

12801387_571549663009226_7778481502883881954_n

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close