This case involves racial profiling and harassment by Nassau County police officers of South Asian high school students. The NYCLU represented 19 South Asian high school students who were arrested on Oct. 25, 2002 on charges of Criminal Trespass and Disorderly Conduct for gathering on a Herricks school ball field. Although the police spoke to about six white students in the group, none were arrested. The South Asian students were leaving the field as ordered when the school superintendent abruptly ordered their arrest. They were taken to the station house, fingerprinted, racially mocked, and held for over four hours before being released to their parents. The parents themselves claimed they were verbally and physically threatened as they waited for their children. The criminal court dismissed all charges in June 2004 on the grounds of insufficient evidence against the students. Also, a week later, one parent who had protested to the police, Dr. Bal Sareen, was stopped by three police cars while driving, searched, held for 25 minutes and then let go with no ticket.
On Jan. 20, 2004, the NYCLU filed a complaint on the grounds of false arrest, frivolous and malicious prosecution and racial profiling. The suit also includes a claim on behalf of Dr. Sareen. In January 2005, at the request of the insurance company for the school district, there was an unproductive attempt at mediation. The case was settled in June 2007.
E.D.N.Y., Index No. CV-04-0207 (direct)