*Imagine a police officer stopping you on the highway and making you submit to a full cavity search…right there on the road.
To be clear, this involves someone putting their finger up your privates.
This is what happened to two Texas women who, today have filed a lawsuit against the Texas Department of Public Safety for a “humiliating” full body cavity search they had to undergo after being pulled over for speeding.
The women talked to news station HLN about the horrible experience in 2012.
Alexandria Randle and Brandy Hamilton, both in their late 20s at the time, had celebrated Memorial Day on the beach with friends and family, when they were stopped for speeding. The officer, who claimed to smell marijuana in the car, requested they step out of the vehicle. One of the women was still in beach wear, a bikini, and asked if she could put on a dress, but she was denied and told, “No, don’t worry about it.”
A small amount of marijuana was found in the car, according to HLN, so the officer called in a female officer to conduct a full body cavity search on the women, right there on the side of the road.
“If you hid something in there, we are going to find it,” the female officer could be heard saying in the video.
“You are going to go up my private parts?” one of the women could be heard asking in disbelief in the video.
“Yes, ma’am,” the officer responded matter-of-factly.
The next move is incomprehensible. Randle claims that the officer did not have a glove of her own, and had to borrow a glove from another officer. Moreover, she did not change her glove in between the searches; something Randle called “very unsanitary and just really hurtful.”
No additional drugs were found in the search.
Randle told HLN, “It was extremely humiliating, especially with my entire family, including my 8-year-old nieces and my nephew … in the back of the car, and they saw all of this happening, as well as everybody on the side of the road. I have a whole different feeling when I see police officers now. … It’s a very touchy thing dealing with them.”
“Me and … Brandy were very cooperative,” she added. “[The police officer] was very disrespectful, especially because we were two women. I don’t think that that was appropriate at all. It was very uncalled for.”
Randle’s attorney, Allie Booker, appeared on HLN with her client, to speak about her own disbelief at the officers actions, saying, “No way, no how. They’re not even allowed to do cavity searches at the jail,” she said when asked whether the handling of the incident was justified. “It’s alarming to me. I actually cannot believe that they actually did it.
“I want to make sure that there’s no police officer anywhere in this United States that thinks that it’s OK to cavity-search women on the side of the road,” Booker added. “Women are supposed to be protected, and it is horrible to think that riding on the side of the road the person that’s supposed to keep you safe would basically rape you.”
Following the incident, the male officer was fired and the female officer was also terminated originally, but came back to duty and was placed on a 60-day suspension without pay after a grand jury decided not to indict her.
Thanks to The Root for information used in this story. See the news report with HLN, Ms. Randle and her attorney below.