Indy woman sues over First and Fourth Amendment rights

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Indiana is suing two Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officers (IMPD) on behalf of an Indianapolis woman who claims the officers violated her First and Fourth Amendment rights.

According to an ACLU news release, Pamela Konchinsky was turning into the Merchants Garage on South Meridian Street on June 17 when two IMPD officers entered behind her minivan. One officer told her she was being detained because of a bumper sticker on her rear window that read “Unmarked Police Car.” The officer said people would think she was impersonating a police officer.

The officers reviewed Konchinsky’s license and registration and then had her remove the sticker.

She contacted the ACLU of Indiana who then filed a lawsuit on her behalf because the “IMPD officers’ subjecting Konchinsky to detention, questioning, intimidation and harassment over the message on her bumper sticker violates two constitutional amendments: the First Amendment protecting free expression and the Fourth Amendment prohibiting unreasonable and suspicionless seizures.”

“We contend that the police officers who detained and interrogated our client without legal grounds to do so violated her constitutional rights,” said Kelly Eskew, the ACLU of Indiana’s staff attorney. “The promise of our Constitution is that these lines cannot be crossed.”

The lawsuit was filed June 27 in the Indianapolis Division of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.