Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Women Subjected to Body Cavity Search During Routine Traffic Stop

This is exactly the kind of nonsense I've been railing about -
Two Texas women are suing after state troopers subjected them to a humiliating and invasive 'roadside body cavity search' that was caught on video.

Female trooper Kellie Helleson is seen in the footage aggressively searching the private parts of Angel Dobbs, 38, and her niece, Ashley Dobbs, 24, in front of passing cars.

The women, who claim the trooper used the same rubber glove for both of them, were initially stopped by Helleson's colleague David Farrell on State Highway 161 near Irving after he saw one of them throw a cigarette butt out the window.

However, he requested the women be searches after allegedly claiming they were 'acting weird.'

The lawsuit states he then tried to 'morph this situation into a DWI investigation,' according to the Dallas Morning News.

Angel Dobbs passed a roadside sobriety test and the women were given warnings for littering.
Now I will admit upfront that I find littering, especially cigarettes especially irritating. Dispose of your own trash in your own bins and not the side of the road! Despite this, this sort of 'offense' barely warrants a ticket, much less a full freaking cavity search, in public to boot! Let's check the supreme law of the land -
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." ~ 4th Amendment
 Got that? No, let's walk through it...
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects.."
Note, this is an inherit right. Not something granted by any individual, government or corporation. Take away the Constitution and you still possess this right. Let's note further that this right extends to your property. So the people have a right to be secure, but from what?
"...against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,..."
The law of the land protects you by strictly prohibiting government from searching you or your effects unless the following criteria are met (thus satisfying the definition of "reasonable")
"...but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation..."
So only a sworn officer of the court can execute a warrant upon probable cause only! This has at least a two-fold effect (Not that we recognize this anymore) 1) It virtually eliminates harassment by your government. 2) It allows the transaction and transmission of commerce without the parasitical drain of the state.

But wait, how will this warrant be executed?
"...particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
Got it? It's not enough to be suspicious, you have to know what you're searching for and who or what you are searching. Does the incident above rise to that? Certainly not! Let's start with the instigating factor -
"..he saw one of them throw a cigarette butt out the window."
Ok, we have our 'offense'. Hardly a civil crime much less a felony. (You can argue about the propriety of this at a different time.) So the officer pulls them over and immediately begins to escalate, looking for 'dirt'.
Trooper searched car for marijuana before requesting invasive cavity search
So here we have the 'ladder aproach' to crime. They already committed one 'offense', so we use that as a stepping stone to microscopically examine a person's life. In this case, it came in the form of the great War on Drugs. This search should have never happened because there was no probable cause. (The ladies probably consented to a search of the car.) Despite there being no probable cause and no incriminating evidence, the ladder is put to use again with the flimsiest of excuses..."they were 'acting weird.'"

Yes, yes. You just got pulled over for throwing a cigarette butt out your window (An act that happens millions of times every day on the roadways), your car has just been searched for drugs, of which, there were zero. I'd be a little 'weird' too. Undaunted, the officer doubles-down. 'I know there's drugs here... Let's search the cavities!'

And what did it net? Zero. Nada. Zilch. Not even a ticket, just a warning. (Most likely because there was no 'dirt' to be had.)

This is the badass attitude on 'crime'. A creeping, pervasive, authoritarian attitude which treats 'citizens' like kindergarteners incapable of crossing the street without offending the State. Every action. Monitored. Every transaction. Reviewed. Every relationship. Approved. Cross that street and you pay the fine buddy!

This is exactly why the Constitution was enacted, to stop this abuse.  

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