Canine-Instigated Cavity Search Ensues Lawsuits
Dogs are man’s best friend. Canines are loyal and are unconditionally faithful to their masters. They are also a valuable tool in the war on drugs; trained police dogs have proven effective in detecting drugs. But there is now trouble in drug-detecting paradise….
Trained police dogs have wrongfully detected drugs in three separate cases in New Mexico—prompting humiliating cavity searches. Lawsuits now follow. Man, it’s bad enough that the NSA is probing our emails, but now Federal agents have been probing random citizens who have wrongfully been suspected of concealing drugs. Imagine being a housewife in your 50’s and having the following done to you against your will by men in uniforms at the U.S. border checkpoint in New Mexico—after a dog signaled that he sensed drugs:
She was stripped naked, asked to spread her genitalia, and cough. Federal agents pressed their fingers in her vagina and anus,” says Laura Schauer Ives, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union in New Mexico who is now representing the woman in a case that will be formally filed in the next few weeks. Despite the fact that nothing was revealed, and in the absence of a search warrant, the officials continued their search. The woman was transported to University Medical Center in El Paso, where authorities subjected her to a bio-manual cavity search of her anus and vagina, an extensive search of her bowel movement, and eventually, a CT scan.
Welcome to Amerika with a “K”—where every citizen has the right to live his or her very own Kafka-esque nightmare. Surprisingly, a year after the incident the woman is “profoundly traumatized” and rarely leaves her home since the forced gynecological exam. Horrific as this sounds; three other New-Mexico-area-mandatory-anal- probing lawsuits made the headlines this week.
Each case has the same elements: an alert from a trained detector dog (in two of the same cases, the same dog), followed by an invasive cavity search and, ultimately, a complete lack of any found drugs.
How embarrassing for the authorities; talk about having egg on, well, your anus. Basically, this is legal, medical rape. The traffic stop of David Eckert—a 52-year-old scrap metal worker—is what has propelled this discussion into the national spotlight. Eckert was heading to Walmart when he was pulled over for neglecting to stop at a stop sign. A drug-sniffing dog on the scene alerted the officer that he had detected drugs. Jump ahead to be taken into custody; Eckert began a 12-hour horrific ordeal – that was described by his civil rights lawyer as “a fishing expedition inside someone’s body.” Eckert’s medical rape involved eight medical procedures including several X-rays, three enemas, being forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers and then having his stools searched in front of him, and a colonoscopy. And guess what the officers discovered? No drugs were present. Eckert was sent home. The lesson learnt: Never shop at Walmart.
Not disgusted enough? Check out these non-canine, yet still horrific, TSA search stories:
-A Lansing, Michigan man had his urostomy bag torn open by TSA agents during an “enhanced pat-down.” The cancer survivor had to board the plane soaked in his own urine.
-More cancer survivor fun: A woman was forced to expose and remove her prosthetic breast during a particularly aggressive pat down.
-A senior citizen had his pants pulled down by a TSA agent in a public area so the agent could inspect his knee replacement. Surprisingly, no weapons were found.
-A 5-year old boy was forced to take of his shirt at LAX because he was too shy to let TSA agents search him. Surprisingly, no weapons were found in this scenario either.