Stop Police From Collecting DNA Samples Upon Arrest

Target: United States Supreme Court Justices

Goal: Do not allow police to collect DNA samples before a suspect is charged

Recently, the United States Supreme Court ruled that police can extract DNA samples from citizens who are under arrest before they are even charged, with a vote of five to four. This policy allows DNA to be collected from anybody who is placed under arrest, rightfully or wrongfully, to be checked against a nationwide database to be applied to past crimes.

Justices in favor of the motion equated the method, a cheek swab, to fingerprinting and photographs. Yet the retroactive nature of these procedures, running DNA samples from cases that occurred years ago, violates the Fourth Amendment right of unconstitutional search and seizure. An individual pulled over for a traffic violation could be subjected to a DNA swab, and subsequently booked on unrelated charges to their arrest if the DNA matches an entry in the database.

This policy gives police unprecedented power, and changes the dynamic in which suspects are apprehended. Unlawful search and seizure created a precedent in which citizens could only have evidence used against them that supports original charges, and unrelated information was to be thrown out in court. Yet, with this policy, police can use any routine incident to provide evidence for cases that have been closed or untouched for decades. Justice Scalia stated: “Make no mistake about it: because of today’s decision, your DNA can be taken and entered into a national database if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, and for whatever reason,” emphasizing the police force’s ability to retroactively bring forth charges against anybody, any time.

Sign this petition to urge the Supreme Court to overturn their decision. This policy is dreadfully dystopian, and pushes for a complete lack of privacy and right to due process of law. This policy subjects any apprehension of a citizen by police to open unrelated cases and bring forth unrelated evidence, a practice that the court system has attempted to avoid since its conception.


Dear United States Supreme Court Justices,

Recently, you voted in favor of allowing cheek swabs to be performed by officers at any arrest, subjecting any citizen’s DNA to be checked against a national database. This is an unconstitutional practice violating the Fourth Amendment against unlawful search and seizure. This policy allows any arrest to bring forth unrelated evidence that could be outdated or could apply to cases that have already been considered closed.

I urge you to reconsider your ruling. This movement is a further shift in the complete power police have over citizens and furthers the limitations on freedom we all have. This procedure can turn any ordinary encounter with an officer into a search and seizure, as any arrest can now lead to the gathering of a DNA sample. We are meant to be protected by police, not to fear them. This is an invasive step against the rights of all citizens.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Canadian Blood Services via Flickr

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45 Signatures

  • Darlene Roepke
  • Lynn Juozilaitis
  • Ellen McCann
  • Ann Blank
  • tam O
  • Mary-Carol Gales
  • Ana Maria Mainhardt Carpes
  • Carole Mathews
  • Eveline Mutsaerts
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