ACLU Warns New Orleans About Their COVID Traffic Checkpoints
Ever since "the curve" of COVID-19 has been flattened in the state, the State of Louisiana has been working to find a plan to restart the state. Governor John Bel Edwards and his team have been working on a plan, based off the reopening guidelines put forward by the White House's COVID Task Force.
But at the same time the state is winding down the COVID quarantines, some leaders in the state are looking to increase quarantine-level measures.
In New Orleans, Mayor LaToya Cantrell is planning to use the New Orleans Police Department to stop motorists for questioning about COVID-19. This plan would be disguised as "seat belt checkpoints", but the intent would be to have police engage motorists about COVID-19. This is something the American Civil Liberties Union has taken issue with.
According to a release from the ACLU, these stops could be illegal. ACLU of Louisiana Executive Director Alanah Odoms Herbert said in the release:
“The Constitution is clear: Police cannot stop vehicles and question occupants unless they reasonably suspect criminal activity. All Louisianans have a basic right to move around the city without being stopped by police, unless they are breaking a law. There are far better ways to educate the public about the dangers of COVID-19 than arbitrarily stopping motorists who haven’t done anything wrong.”
The ACLU said that if New Orleans follows through on their plan, the organization will be closely monitoring the situation, and would be ready to take action immediately.