Search Raped by the War on Drugs


disturbing_highway_stop_You would think by now the police departments, counties, states and officers would have learned performing an illegal search would result in a lawsuit since there have been a slew of them filed recently, in New Mexico.  At what point will they grow tired of citizens filing lawsuits and winning them?  In Hildalgo County, New Mexico, Lori Ford, 54 years old, was stopped by police, had her car searched and seized, and strip searched four days later after trying to get her car back.

The war on drugs claims another victim. Here are the questions I don’t think are being asked. What in the world is so important that police feel the need to do a body cavity search? Why couldn’t they have obtained a warrant? On that note, isn’t it very likely that anything believed to be inside a living person’s body will, eventually, work its way out? Lastly, where is the decency? Why do law enforcement officers think it acceptable to treat individuals this way when one state to the north, what this woman is accused of possessing is legal.

More problematic is the evident bad reaction law enforcement has to a United States citizen exercising her right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure when she refused to allow officers to search her vehicle. This article boils down to a short series of events: 1) Get stopped for speeding; 2) Refuse to have your car searched; 3) police search anyway and don’t find anything; 4) have your car seized; 5) finally find your car; 6) go to get it; and 7) get raped in the name of the United States of America and the war on drugs.

Law enforcement needs more perspective on what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and the means used to achieve their alleged goal. How many real truckloads of drugs went by during these events? It is apparent that the officers have no big picture understanding of the nature of their job and even more apparent is the their distaste for individuals who do not submit to their demands.

Indeed, federal courts have ruled that body cavity searches can be performed in felony cases (who knew police could determine a quantity they cannot see) and that in suspected misdemeanor cases officers need a reasonable articulated basis to perform a body cavity search. Most of us probably aren’t convinced that people who would perform a body cavity search on a misdemeanor case have the ability to articulate a need for it in the first place.

Fortunately in this country we have federal judges with lifetime appointments. Ms. Ford is also asserting her constitutional right under the 7th Amendment. Damages are likely more than $20.00.

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