Remember the New Mexico man who sued police and an area hospital after they repeatedly probed his anus, forced him to poop and sent him a bill for his trouble? It looks like the worst traffic stop ever has some competition care of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The Huffington Post reports on a lawsuit filed by an anonymous woman who claims the CBP officers held her without a warrant or her consent for six hours, repeatedly searched her anus and vagina, and forced her to poop in front of them. She then received a $5,000 bill from the hospital where it happened.
A fair warning: this isn't a very pleasant story and goes into graphic detail about what the woman claims happened to her during the search.
The lawsuit says the woman, a 54-year-old referred to as "Jane Doe" in the complaint, traveled to Ciudad Juárez in December 2012 to visit a family friend who had been deported. When she returned to the U.S. through El Paso, she was selected for random screening by officers and then singled out by a drug dog.
Officers began a series of searches on the woman, and when they yielded nothing, she was taken to University Medical Center of El Paso. From the story:
Over the course of the next six hours, Defendants subjected Ms. Doe to a series of highly invasive searches, any one of which would have been humiliating and demeaning. First, government agents stripped searched [sic] Ms. Doe and made a visual and manual inspection of her genitals and anus. Finding nothing, Defendants next subjected her to an observed bowel movement.
When that procedure yielded no evidence of drugs, Defendants X-rayed Ms. Doe. Having found nothing, Defendants next shackled Ms. Doe to an examining table and inserted a speculum into her vagina, performed a rectal exam on her, and conducted a bimanual cavity search of her vagina. Still not satisfied, Defendants subjected Ms. Doe to a CT scan and again found no evidence of drugs.
Though Defendants conducted these searches against the will of Ms. Doe and without her consent, the Medical Center billed Ms. Doe more than $5,000.00 for its "services."
The woman's lawyer claims the experience has left her deeply traumatized. While Customs and Border Protection doesn't comment on pending litigation, the hospital told the HuffPo that they waived the $5,000 bill for the "procedures" after the lawsuit was filed and that they are conducting a third-party review of their policies.
If this is true, it's horrifying and disgusting — and potentially very expensive for the agency and the hospital. The man in last year's anal probe traffic stop received a $1.6 million settlement from the city and county, and litigation against the hospital is ongoing.
Photo credit AP
Hat tip to The Scrambler Says It Can Be Done in Oppo