New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas says officers will begin putting bright orange stickers on properties they have searched for drugs, reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune. The hexagonal, saucer-sized stickers will be affixed to homes that are under investigation and have been singled out through anonymous tips to Crimestoppers Inc. The signs will go up after officers execute a warrant at the property, regardless of whether drugs are found or arrests made.
Serpas said he wants the public to know that officers are following up on drug-related tips, even though those investigations are done in a clandestine manner.The new sticker-initiative was met with near instant criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana. “This is like a scarlet letter tattooed onto the homes of otherwise innocent people, giving them no presumption of innocence,” said director Marjorie Esman. “People who have not even been arrested, let alone tried or convicted, will be singled out and have their homes marked.”