Well, Jon, perhaps they’re not really “conservative” after all. Just a thought.
Cop Searches Woman’s Vagina and Anus After She Threw a Cigarette Butt Out of Her Car Window
The theory underlying the law enforcement panacea in Whren v. United States, approving of pretext automobile stops, is that no one can drive any distance without breaking a traffic law. Thus, if a cop follows a car long enough, he’ll have justification to stop it and, well, have his way. Since a cop’s claim that you swerved across a line, failed to signal or drove 3 miles over the speed limit is more than sufficient cause to stop, it’s really not necessary to follow for too long if a stop is in the offing.
The New York Court of Appeals, in a surprising reversal of the trend toward making the roads a Constitution-free zone, held in People v. Garcia that it is impermissible for a police officer who has made a routine car stop for a traffic infraction to play out the scenario to his routine advantage.
The state judges ruled that without a “founded suspicion” of criminal behavior, officers cannot ask pointed questions that imply criminal activity, like “Where are the drugs?” or “Do you have a weapon?”
The prosecution argued that asking pointed questions is necessary for police safety, that a cop takes his life in his hands when he stops a car for speeding. Whether the driver is a nun or shooter is unknown, and it’s barely a burden to ask given that the car is already stopped. The argument is bolstered by the Supreme Court’s Pennsylvania v. Mimms decision, authorizing police to order people out of a stopped car for police safety. After all, stopping a car is a seizure, a far greater burden than merely ordering someone out or, as in Garcia, asking questions. There is nothing to stop the person from refusing to answer, the dissent notes.
The automobile exception to, well, everything, has proven to be the slipperiest of slopes since bootlegger days, It’s not that the argument lacks logic, but that there hasn’t proven to be any conceptual edge to end the slide of intrusion. So anything goes.
Anything, you ask? Seriously? Well, consider two women in Irving, Texas, stopped by a state trooper for throwing cigarette butts out the window of their car.
38-year-old Angel Dobbs and her niece, 24-year-old Ashley Dobbs, were pulled over last July near the area of Highway 161 and Beltline Road for allegedly tossing cigarette butts out of the window of their vehicle while on a ‘road trip’ to Oklahoma.
The women’s attorney Scott Palmer says State Trooper David Farrell claimed he smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle and performed a search, which turned up nothing.
Trooper Farrell then called in a female trooper, who proceeded to do a very personal cavity search to see if they women were hiding any illegal items.
The female trooper performed a cavity search at roadside to protect the public from the Dobbs gang.
The women said that the female trooper, Kelley Helleson, proceeded to use her fingers to search their anuses and vaginas, using the same latex glove on both women, on the side of the road in full view of other passing vehicles.
The women not only said so, but have the dash cam video to prove it.
[see video above]
To put this in more concrete context, say Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan were driving the circuit, two gals with some personal bonding time, smoking the occasional Virginia Slim in their rental car, which has no ash tray. So they toss the butt out the window, which naturally attracts the attention of an environmentally sensitive Texas state trooper. And cigarettes, naturally having a similar smokey odor to pot, alerts the trooper to the potential that these gals are drug mules, feels compelled to protect society from them. And a search ensures.
Will Justices Sotomayor and Kagan be understanding about the need for a trooper to insert her fingers in their anus and vagina just to be sure? Will Nino Scalia tell them in conference to take one for the team? Will Clarence Thomas sit there silently?
I rarely post international incidents of police misconduct, but I couldn’t resist this one.
Police officers who forced teenage students to strip, some of them completely naked, in the hunt for a stolen €5 at a school in Munich are now being investigated themselves after pupils and their parents complained.
Teachers stood by while the children were strip-searched, the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported on Monday.
Police offers were at the Friedrich-List Economics School last Tuesday to talk to a class of 27 students aged 13 and 14 about moral courage in a public setting, when one girl complained that €5 was missing from her jacket pocket.
This prompted the youth liaison officer to call for back-up and organize a strip-search of the teenagers. Four officers split the pupils according to gender and searched them in separate classrooms.
“Some of the schoolgirls had to briefly open their bras, while some schoolboys had their underpants searched,” police spokesman Wolfgang Wenger told the paper.
One 14-year-old boy told the paper a police officer had looked up his backside with a torch - after he had initially refused to take his underpants off.
By the afternoon, relatives of one student had called the police to complain. “Our internal investigations section took on the case immediately and went to the school that day to clear up the matter,” said Wenger.
“One can search bags and get people to take off their coats on suspicion of theft, even when it’s only €5. But obviously it was way over the top to search the students in such an intimate fashion.”
All four police officers involved are now themselves under investigation.
The Süddeutsche Zeitung said some of the students were so upset by what happened that they did not go to school the day afterwards. At least two teachers who were present at the time failed to step in to stop the searches but the school has refused to comment while the investigation is being conducted.
Public prosecutor Thomas Steinkraus-Koch told the paper he had “significant doubts about whether the measures taken were reasonable.”
The police stressed that none of the students were forced to take off all their clothes, and that the strip-search had taken place only after checking with the school authorities.
But pupils told the Süddeutsche Zeitung they all had to take off their T-shirts and trousers and that in some cases their genitals have been checked.
One witness said, “By the end, all the girls were crying, and one of the boys had burst into tears too.”