The purpose of this Note is to help rethink how to better protect minors and emerging adults from the long-standing threat of gang policing and databases. This Note applies the First Amendment right to associate to challenge gang policing in New York as an example of potential challenges to gang policing in other jurisdictions. However, the legal community needs to understand how and why gang policing and databases disproportionately target low-income environments that Black and Latinx youths rarely choose and cannot easily leave. Then legal advocates can effectively assert youths’ First Amendment right to associate to prevent their inclusion in gang databases. This Note relies on research in social sciences, neuroscience, and youth development to understand the social, cultural, and structural circumstances in which youths are more likely to be added to gang databases. Ultimately, this Note argues that the inclusion of minors and emerging adults, who are disproportionately Black and Latinx, in New York’s gang databases likely violates their First Amendment right to associate.
To read this Note, please click here: Challenging Guilt by Association: Rethinking Youths’ First Amendment Right to Associate and Their Protection from Gang Databases.