Published on: Thursday, September 21, 2023

A D.C. Circuit panel considered on Thursday whether the Metropolitan Police Department violated the Fourth Amendment by holding on to the phones of arrested Black Lives Matter protesters for over a year (article available here).

The case was brought on behalf of two protesters and three volunteer medics who were arrested during an August 2020 march in the wake of the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. 

The protesters —along with about 40 others — were released the next day without charges, but their phones remained in police custody. When the lawsuit was filed in 2021, the MPD still held more than 30 phones despite multiple requests that they be returned. 

A U.S. District Judge dismissed the complaint in August 2022.