The Local CBS affiliate in East St. Louis, Illinois spoke with ACLU of Illinois communications director Ed Yohnka about the free speech implications of the city's recent measures to keep young people off the streets. The measures, which include a ten o'clock curfew, on-sight arrests of minors in the street during school hours, and random I.D. checks, are a direct response to the recent murders of four young people from the area. However, some local police have taken issue with the legality of arresting youth on the basis of the color and style of their clothing.
“First, police should not be targeting individuals for detention or arrest based on their clothing color or design. There is an exception in this if the color of clothing is being used to identify a particular suspect. But, as a general rule, it simply should not and cannot be illegal to wear a particular color of clothing. Innocent people – youths and others – will be swept up and detained without reason (eating up precious law enforcement resources) simply for the color of their clothing. This is dangerous and impermissible.”