The ACLU of Colorado has launched a lawsuit against the city of Colorado Springs, four local police officers, and the FBI. The suit accuses them of illegally spying on Jacqueline “Jax” Armendariz Unzueta, a local activist, and her private communications, following her arrest at a 2021 housing rights protest.

The defendants are charged with conducting an “unconstitutional and invasive search and seizure” of personal devices and private chats, as part of a larger campaign against regional activists. The ACLU argues that these actions demonstrate a blatant disregard for the Fourth Amendment, which protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures.

The lawsuit alleges that the police targeted Chinook Center leaders, a community advocacy group, during the protest. Following arrests, they obtained a warrant to access private chats on Facebook Messenger without providing evidence of probable cause. The FBI is also named in the lawsuit for illegally seizing and searching Unzueta’s personal devices.

In response, Unzueta voiced hope that her case could help stop police from further targeting and silencing others. The ACLU’s legal director, Tim Macdonald, warned of the profound danger of these types of warrants on freedom and liberty. He asserted that if left unchecked, these practices could undermine the Fourth Amendment and lead to unbounded privacy intrusions.

 

 
 

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