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ACLU sues San Francisco PD over cellphone search
March 21, 2013, 05:00 AM The Associated Press
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit challenging a search by San Francisco police of an activist's cellphone without a warrant.

In the suit filed Wednesday against the city, the ACLU says such warrantless searches violate the state's right to privacy, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure and freedom of speech.

The suit claims that two San Francisco police officers last year violated activist Bob Offer-Westort's privacy after his cellphone was searched after he was arrested for protesting a proposed city ordinance he felt was targeting homeless people.

Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Andraychak said Wednesday the department has no comment on pending litigation.

The California Supreme Court ruled in 2011 that police can search arrestees' cellphones without a warrant, saying defendants lose their privacy rights for any items they're carrying when taken into custody.

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