Family Alleges Minneapolis Police Took DNA Sample From Child Without Consent

13 May 2022

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A family says Minneapolis police took DNA samples from their child without their consent.

They allege that reports of gunfire at Phelps Park led to the teen and two others to be detained. He was not charged with a crime, but his DNA was taken without parental consent.

Now, members of the Unity in Community Mediation Team (UCMT) and its Young People’s Task Force want answers.

“How many times have our juveniles’ DNA has been taken without a parent consent, without a warrant or without a conviction?” said AJ Flowers with the Young People’s Task Force. “Who has been complicit in this process? Is that the county? Is that the city? Is that some of these programs our young people are going to that we are thinking are protecting our young folks, are y’all allowing young people to get their DNA taken without a parent consent or a warrant?”

WCCO spoke with Howie Padilla, public information officer for the Minneapolis Police Department.

“Once we heard of these concerns, we got on it right away,” Padilla said.

MPD says it immediately began talking to attorneys. Both MPD and UCMT says its relationship is vital in repairing community police relations. For more than 20 years, they’ve been working together to address concerns of biased policing in communities of color.

“I would believe there is more just because of the openness of this one. They seem as though they thought it was not a problem, and once we were able to see the state statute we seen that it was a problem, so yes, I would definitely believe there’s more.”

Padilla says he doesn’t believe any laws have been broken.

“The bigger thing that I can tell you is that we’re appreciative that these concerns were brought to us from the community.”

The teenager’s family and members of the community mediation team will hold a press conference Friday morning to share more details about what happened.

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