That argument says Meridian city cops routinely take students to jail for incidents at local schools. Those arrests, according to the suit, would be without probable cause and on the word of the school only.
The U.S. Dept. of Justice is involved in the suit, claiming that practice targets black and disabled kids. The suit names the City of Meridian, Lauderdale County, Lauderdale County Youth Court judges and the State of Mississippi.
“The department is bringing this lawsuit to ensure that all children are treated fairly and receive the fullest protection of the law,” said Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the DOJ Civil Rights Division, in a written statement on Oct. 24.
“It is in all of our best interests to ensure that children are not incarcerated for alleged minor infractions, and that police and courts meet their obligations to uphold children’s constitutional rights."
The website jjie.org, which stands for Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, says Meridian and Lauderdale County attorneys are arguing the DOJ had asked for confidential records that the Mississippi judges could not legally provide.The website also says there is a press conference planned for today.