A third New Mexico resident is claiming that she was physically abused by police and medical staff who exceeded their authority to search for drugs she never had.
The woman’s attorney came forward with her story just a few days after a local news channel reported similar stories involving New Mexico police forcing two suspects to undergo invasive surgery to prove they weren’t carrying drugs. Police used expired and nonexistent warrants to justify the improper and unethical searches, according to KOB-TV 4.
The unnamed woman is being represented by Laura Schaur Ives of the New Mexico chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Schaur told KOB-TV 4 that her client was stopped by police in El Paso, Texas. After a drug-sniffing dog indicated that she might have drugs, police strip-searched her and then allegedly assault her by sticking their fingers into her vagina.
When the on-site search failed to turn up any drugs, police took the woman to University Medical Center of El Paso. There, she was given an X-ray, cat scan and full body search. Medical personnel probed her anus and vagina, according to Schaur.
“They then did a cavity search and they probed her vagina and her anus, they described in the medical records as bi-manual – two-handed,” she said in a statement. “Again, they found nothing.”
Schaur claims that police did not have a warrant to conduct the search.
If this horror story sounds familiar, it’s because two other New Mexico residents were violate by drug-seeking police officers. Timothy Young and David Eckert were pulled over for traffic violations in separate incidents, and were searched on the authority of the same unlicensed drug-sniffing dog. They were then taken to Gila Regional Medical Center in Silver City, New Mexico, where doctors performed a full battery of invasive medical procedures.
While these incidents involved New Mexico police, the woman who Schaur represents was allegedly handled by Customs and Border Control – suggesting that abusive practices are not limited to a single malicious police department.
All three victims protested their treatment at the hands of police and medical staff and refused to be examined.
Not only were their protestations ignored, but in Eckert’s case, doctors even stuck him with the bill for his own forced colonoscopy.