posted on Aug, 30 2009 @ 06:53 PM
These cops definitely went wrong in using men to strip the prisoner. However, they were not necessarily wrong to perform a strip search. In fact,
they probably were compelled to perform the search, given the woman's response to the question about harming herself.
The woman was distraught - of course she was, she had just been assaulted. Then she had her deceased sister's ID taken from her, which added to her
being upset. Her behavior was enough to get her taken into custody. I'm not sure this was necessary, but then again, I wasn't there to see how
this woman was acting. She may have seemed seriously disturbed. Or, maybe the cops overreacted. Without a video of that part, it's impossible to
Once in custody, however, the officers had a duty to ensure that this woman could not harm herself. Had they just put her into a cell and left her,
and had she then taken out some sort of weapon or drug and used it to kill or injure herself, the cops would have been on the hook for that. They'd
have been asked, rightfully so, why they didn't ensure that the woman couldn't hurt herself.
Most of the time they'll take away your shoe laces and belt, sharp objects, stuff like that. Safer for the prisoner and for others, including the
cops. If they think someone is seriously disturbed, they may feel it necessary to perform a much more thorough search.
As I said, they probably weren't out of line in performing a strip search, since they had some reason to believe this woman might harm herself.
However, they were completely out of line in having any men present during the search. That should never have happened.
Whether they ever asked the woman to remove her own clothing is unknown. Without a video, it's a "he said, she said" sort of thing. But clearly
when they decided to use force, the men should have left. The women should have told the men to leave. They were completely wrong for handling it
the way they did.
Unfortunately, police are prone to error, just like everyone else. When they goof, however, people can die or suffer severe injuries. Worse yet,
sometimes the police get crazed from wielding power. They become dangerous, bullying those who cannot resist. I can't say what we have in this case
- power-mad bullies, or just cops who made a seriously bad call. All I can say is, I'm glad it was caught on tape.
This sort of thing has always gone on. Only recently have there been tapes and other records of such events. Finally, the truth is being discovered,
and it doesn't always make the police look good.