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 Post subject: Gross police misconduct in NM traffic stop
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:11 pm 
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TOTALLY CRADICAL
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Jordanpattern told me about this story recently, and then I had the chance to read about it here, and holy moley is it a nightmare. Forget your ghost stories, this is by far the scariest thing I've read this fall. (follow-up here)

TL;DR version, a man was pulled over in Luna county for allegedly rolling through a stop sign. When he exited his vehicle, officers noticed that he was "standing upright with his legs together," which they interpreted as clenching his buttcheeks, which naturally constituted probable cause to search his anal cavity for drugs.

A sniffer dog was brought in* and promptly 'alerted' to his driver's seat. Some yahoo judge signed off on a search warrant to have this man's body physically searched for drugs. The first hospital the police brought him to, bless their Hippocrathic Oath-upholding hearts, refused to exam him on ethical grounds. The officers then took the defendant across county lines, out of the jurisdiction of the search warrant, to another hospital, where:

Spoiler: show
Quote:
1. Eckert's abdominal area was x-rayed; no narcotics were found.

2. Doctors then performed an exam of Eckert's anus with their fingers; no narcotics were found.

3. Doctors performed a second exam of Eckert's anus with their fingers; no narcotics were found.

4. Doctors penetrated Eckert's anus to insert an enema. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.

5. Doctors penetrated Eckert's anus to insert an enema a second time. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.

6. Doctors penetrated Eckert's anus to insert an enema a third time. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.

7. Doctors then x-rayed Eckert again; no narcotics were found.

8. Doctors prepared Eckert for surgery, sedated him, and then performed a colonoscopy where a scope with a camera was inserted into Eckert's anus, rectum, colon, and large intestines. No narcotics were found.

(Spoilered because it is very upsetting).

And, if that weren't insulting enough, he then received a medical bill. BOOM.

Naturally, all this information comes from the complaint he filed in court to sue the everloving shiitake out of those cops. I hope he wins All The Money.

*This particular sniffer dog had 'alerted' to a traffic stop in 2012 involving the same defendant; no drugs were found on that occasion either. The dog also alerted to a second defendant who underwent a similarly medically invasive search and who also was found to have no drugs. Oh, and the dog hasn't been a certified narcotics sniffer dog in New Mexico since April of 2011.

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 Post subject: Re: Gross police misconduct in NM traffic stop
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:16 pm 
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What in the name of all things Holy?! I cannot imagine anyone not stopping and saying - this is completely unreasonable search and seizure and anything we find is likely inadmissable plus we are really crossing every single boundary of medical ethics here.

I just can't even.

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 Post subject: Re: Gross police misconduct in NM traffic stop
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:17 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
I just can't even.


Me either.


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 Post subject: Re: Gross police misconduct in NM traffic stop
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:34 pm 
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Holy fork.

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 Post subject: Re: Gross police misconduct in NM traffic stop
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:35 pm 
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Erika Soyf*cker wrote:
I hope he wins All The Money.

Indeed. And that the cops who thought standing upright with ones' legs together consituted probable cause of anything are fired, and that the dog who obviously isn't suited for this type of work finds a nice forever home where all he's responsible for sniffing is butts, and that the doctors involved are brought before an ethics review board, and, and, and...

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 Post subject: Re: Gross police misconduct in NM traffic stop
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:01 pm 
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monkeytoes wrote:
Erika Soyf*cker wrote:
I hope he wins All The Money.

Indeed. And that the cops who thought standing upright with ones' legs together consituted probable cause of anything are fired, and that the dog who obviously isn't suited for this type of work finds a nice forever home where all he's responsible for sniffing is butts, and that the doctors involved are brought before an ethics review board, and, and, and...

Sort of tangential, but this has less to do with a particular dog and more to do with scent evidence being generally shaky. In many, if not most, law enforcement training programs dogs are penalized for false negatives, but not false positives, when they test. Not to mention the what's been called Clever Hans effect, in which handlers subtly, often unknowingly sway the outcome of scent searches. (Clever Hans was the counting horse who appeared to solve simple math problems by reading cures from his handler and even the audience. The handler did not know he was influencing Hans.)

This is really bad, but I'm just not shocked.

I also hope he wins all the money.


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 Post subject: Re: Gross police misconduct in NM traffic stop
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:57 pm 
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Olives wrote:
monkeytoes wrote:
Erika Soyf*cker wrote:
I hope he wins All The Money.

Indeed. And that the cops who thought standing upright with ones' legs together consituted probable cause of anything are fired, and that the dog who obviously isn't suited for this type of work finds a nice forever home where all he's responsible for sniffing is butts, and that the doctors involved are brought before an ethics review board, and, and, and...

Sort of tangential, but this has less to do with a particular dog and more to do with scent evidence being generally shaky. In many, if not most, law enforcement training programs dogs are penalized for false negatives, but not false positives, when they test. Not to mention the what's been called Clever Hans effect, in which handlers subtly, often unknowingly sway the outcome of scent searches. (Clever Hans was the counting horse who appeared to solve simple math problems by reading cures from his handler and even the audience. The handler did not know he was influencing Hans.)

This is really bad, but I'm just not shocked.

I also hope he wins all the money.


Exactly- I work in a law office where all the attorneys practice criminal defense, and a good 75% of their cases are drug-related. They have a ton of evidence, including one very recent study out of UC Davis (which has a highly regarded animal medicine dept), that determines that sniffer dogs are often reacting to their handlers' seemingly imperceptible body movements, to the point that even the handlers don't realize they are influencing the dog.

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 Post subject: Re: Gross police misconduct in NM traffic stop
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:00 pm 
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Jesus Christ. I really can't even formulate a response to this. That poor man; I can't even imagine. I actually feel like I'm going to be sick just thinking about that. Someone has to pay, or there should be hell to pay.

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 Post subject: Re: Gross police misconduct in NM traffic stop
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:03 pm 
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It's too bad it's the tax payers who will have to pay, but I sure hope he gets a whopping huge settlement and this case sets an example.

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 Post subject: Re: Gross police misconduct in NM traffic stop
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:06 pm 
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There's so many parts of this story that I don't understand and part of it is due to my lack of knowledge about this kind of stuff, but how were the cops able to shop around for a dr/hospital until they found someone willing to preform those procedures? I thought cops usually did cavity searches? I can't even imagine what the victim must have been saying/doing when all this was going down.

Imagine the fear of knowing you are being sedated when you have no autonomy what so ever. It's chilling.


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 Post subject: Re: Gross police misconduct in NM traffic stop
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:36 am 
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fupapack wrote:
There's so many parts of this story that I don't understand and part of it is due to my lack of knowledge about this kind of stuff, but how were the cops able to shop around for a dr/hospital until they found someone willing to preform those procedures? I thought cops usually did cavity searches? I can't even imagine what the victim must have been saying/doing when all this was going down.

Imagine the fear of knowing you are being sedated when you have no autonomy what so ever. It's chilling.

Practically nothing they did was legal, technically. Judges (and prosecutors, although that's not relevant here) not scrutinizing evidence from law enforcement is a huge problem.
Most people don't know their legal rights. As awful as their actions were, little of my anger is directed at the medical staff, because the cops came in with a warrant and probably told them they had to perform these searches - judges orders. That is, most likely, intimidating and the hospital staff probably had no idea how to decline if they had wanted to. (again, that does not mean it was ok. Police have a lot of power in these situations, and when they abuse it, most people don't have tools to respond.)


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 Post subject: Re: Gross police misconduct in NM traffic stop
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:44 am 
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This is horrific. I also hope he wins all the money!

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 Post subject: Re: Gross police misconduct in NM traffic stop
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:47 am 
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fupapack wrote:
There's so many parts of this story that I don't understand


That's because almost every aspect of this story is incomprehensible. Your brain is not broken!

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 Post subject: Re: Gross police misconduct in NM traffic stop
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:15 pm 
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Olives wrote:
That is, most likely, intimidating and the hospital staff probably had no idea how to decline if they had wanted to. (again, that does not mean it was ok. Police have a lot of power in these situations, and when they abuse it, most people don't have tools to respond.)

You make a good point, in my head I think about doctors having so much authority that I didn't conceptualize that they would be intimidated by cops. =


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 Post subject: Re: Gross police misconduct in NM traffic stop
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:22 pm 
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On the bright side, at least we're winning the war on drugs.

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 Post subject: Re: Gross police misconduct in NM traffic stop
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:44 pm 
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mumbles wrote:
On the bright side, at least we're winning the war on drugs.

USA!USA!USA!


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 Post subject: Re: Gross police misconduct in NM traffic stop
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:35 pm 
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mumbles wrote:
On the bright side, at least we're winning the war on drugs.
And rolling stops. And constipation.
Olives wrote:
USA!USA!USA!

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 Post subject: Re: Gross police misconduct in NM traffic stop
PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:51 pm 
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The city and county have settled for $1.6 million. http://www.demingheadlight.com/deming-n ... be-lawsuit

As my favorite legal blog (after Bob Lablaugh's Law Blog, natch) put it, that's about $160,000 per cavity search, after taxes. http://www.loweringthebar.net/2014/01/c ... ttles.html

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 Post subject: Re: Gross police misconduct in NM traffic stop
PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:53 pm 
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That's disgusting and awful and that poor guy must be absolutely traumatized. I feel sick just thinking about the humiliation he had to endure. I hope he gets mega $$$ and gets to take a vacation and pay for a shrink.

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