Legal Aid Society


LAS Cautions Protesters to Protect DNA in Case of Arrest

Anne Oredeko, Supervising Attorney of the Racial Justice Unit at The Legal Aid Society, touched on the possibility of mass arrests at demonstrations on the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, in a new piece by Gothamist.

She cautioning protesters to guard against police officers collecting personal information – including their own DNA.

NYPD officers have previously been demonstrated to use indirect methods – such as the collection of a discarded cigarette butt – to procure DNA samples from arrestees.

“Do not give officers your cell phone, don’t let your phone have a facial recognition mark either,” she said. “If you’re in the precinct…do not take water, do not take food, because they can use that as an opportunity to steal your DNA.”

Oredeko added that she “[hopes] that the actions are peaceful.”