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Hullabaloo


Sunday, January 06, 2013

 
Well, at least we know we're free (to be cavity searched on the side of the road.)

by digby

This tale of two Texas citizens being forced to endure a cavity search on a Texas roadside has been around for several weeks and I somehow missed it. It's shocking, to say the least:


According to NBC News, 38-year-old Angel Dobbs and 24-year-old Ashley Dobbs from Irving, Tex., were driving along Highway 161 on July 13, when they were stopped for allegedly littering by State Trooper David Farrell.

"In the dashcam video released by the women and their attorney, Farrell can be heard telling the women they would both be cited for littering for throwing cigarette butts out of the car," the news agency reports.

After stopping the women, Farrell -- who claims to have "smelled marijuana" in their vehicle -- reportedly questioned the women about the drug and searched their car for traces of pot.

The Dobbs' lawsuit filed on Monday, according to the Dallas Morning News, claims that the state trooper had tried to "morph this situation into a DWI investigation." The older woman, however, is said to have passed a roadside sobriety test and Farrell did not find any marijuana in the car.

The trooper then returned to his vehicle and called female state trooper Kelley Helleson to the scene. He said he wanted Helleson to search the women because they were "acting weird," according to the dashcam recording.

Angel and Ashley claim that they were then subjected to a very public and "humiliating" roadside body cavity search. They both claim that they were not warned beforehand that the "intrusive" search was about to take place.

KVUE writes:

The lawsuit alleges that Helleson used her fingers to search inside each woman's genital areas. The suit also says that the trooper did not change the glove she was wearing and performed the search without consent.

The body cavity search is also said to have taken place "on the side of a public freeway illuminated by lights from the police vehicle in full view of the passing public," the women alleged, according to KVUE.

Wth? This was a full anal and vaginal search. On the side of the highway. Searching for marijuana that was never found.

You cannot tell me this was unique. The way the officers acted, it was obviously not an unprecedented act.

And the scariest part about it what the first women says in her interview above: that she knows she couldn't resist for fear of what would have happened. That's the truly scary part. Had I been her, I would have done the same thing she did. She kept it as light as possible, didn't confront or escalate. Because there is no point in trying to assert your rights to a police officer in the United States of America no matter what insane behavior they are pulling --- they can shoot you full of electricity, throw you to the ground and arrest you on the spot if you try to resist their violation. And in most cases, they will suffer no repercussions for such behavior.

After all, it's obvious that this in "compliance" with standard procedure:

Other than Helleson and Farrell, the women are also suing Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety "for being aware of a long standing pattern of police misconduct involving unlawful strip searches, cavity searches and the like, yet [failing] to take corrective action," KVUE reports.


Everyone feeling extra,super free today?


You can see the full dashcam video here.
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