This article features the ACLU of Utah’s class-action lawsuit representing Salt Lake City public school students targeted by law enforcement during a gang sweep.
In Perverse Equation, Sketches + Skin Color = Gang Tagger
By Carmel Ferrer, published on the national ACLU Blog of Rights
Kaleb Winston loved to draw. A sketchpad never far from reach, he drew constantly, hoping one day to be an architect like his grandfather.
That was before the gang sweep.
In December 2010, two plainclothes police officers approached Kaleb in the cafeteria at Salt Lake City's West High School and said, "Come on. We're going to make you look cool." The honor roll student, who his mother Lisa says has "never been in trouble a day in his life," thought perhaps he was being recognized for his hard work and good grades.
Instead, he found himself held in the school's detention room and accused of being a gang banger. As evidence, the officers pointed to his backpack with the sketchpad in it.