A 38 year old Texas woman and her 24 year old niece are suing two Texas Highway Patrol Troopers and the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety in federal court after a roadside body cavity search. From the Dallas Morning News:
They claim that a female trooper, Kelley Helleson, used her fingers to search their anuses and vaginas — using the same latex glove — while on the side of the road in full view of passing vehicles.
They said David Farrell, a state trooper, had called Helleson to the scene after stopping the women’s vehicle and questioning them about marijuana. Farrell told them he stopped them after seeing them throw cigarette butts out of the window, according to the lawsuit.
He asked for the search because he said the women were “acting weird,” the suit said.
Farrell searched their vehicle for marijuana but didn’t find any, they said. He then tried to “morph this situation into a DWI investigation,” the lawsuit said. Angel Dobbs passed a roadside sobriety test and the women were given warnings for littering, the suit said.
During the search of Angel Dobbs’ anus, Helleson irritated one of the cysts she suffers from, the lawsuit said, causing her “severe and continuing pain and discomfort.”
“Angel Dobbs was overwhelmed with emotion and a feeling of helplessness and reacted stating that Helleson had just violated her in a most horrific manner,” the lawsuit said.
An edited version of the dashboard cam video is below and unfortunately the female Trooper’s mic was either off or malfunctioning. I can’t imagine she would do that without consent, but it is rather convenient that the mic is off isn’t it? Regardless… searches like this have to stop. Obviously there is more to this video and the story and I hope the cops come out looking better than they do. They get the benefit of my doubt as well as under the law, but as a policy matter I’m uncomfortable with such procedures unless it’s an officer safety issue. I’m willing to let those joints move on down the road. Video is squirm inducing in parts, mildly NSFW:
I can’t seem to find a copy of the lawsuit filed, but there is, as they say, more to the story.