Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Elbows On The Table Time

"Last March, a woman in Albany, New York filed a lawsuit against the city police department after being subjected to a humiliating public search in which an officer inserted two fingers into her vagina. The police had no probable cause for the search, and they found no drugs on the woman. After her case went public, others came forward with similar stories. The case also exposed big problems with the city’s Civilian Review Board. Contrary to city law, the city’s police apparently believe cooperating with the board’s investigations is optional, and have intimidated people–including the woman above–who file complaints from taking those complaints to the board.

It now also appears that the city’s sheriff’s department has engaged in a routine of racial profiling, harassment, and illegal searches going back 20 years at Albany’s main bus terminal. The department is facing a lawsuit from a man named Tunde Clement, who it should probably be noted does have a long history of drug offenses. But in this particular case, Clement was clean. Sheriff’s deputies confronted Clement as he was departing a bus, took him to the men’s bathroom, and searched him. When they found no drugs, they arrested him for “resisting arrest,” a charge that was later thrown out, given that you can’t arrest someone for “resisting arrest” if they haven’t committed a crime that should have resulted in arrest in the first place.

The police then strip-searched Clement, and made him squat in front of them. The claimed to have seen white powder on his anus So they took him to a hospital. Without his consent, they then administered drugs to sedate him, induced him to vomit, put a camera up his rectum, and took x-rays of him. Such drastic measures against the consent of a patient usually require officials to show some sort of imminent emergency. There was no such emergency with Clement. And still, no drugs. The hospital later sent Clement a bill for $6,800, and diagnosed him as having “hemorrhoids.”

The Sheriff’s Department’s Drug Interdiction Unit was already under scrutiny. It’s also facing a lawsuit from another officer whose thumb was shot off during a botched drug raid. An internal affairs investigation found that the drug unit was mismanaged and poorly supervised, and recommended discipline against the unit and its leader, Inspector John Burke.

No such action was ever taken."

Some kinky stuff, eh?

You do know that eventually we're going to have to round these folks up and set things aright, don't you?

Thanks to The War in Guns

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