Though they provide a vital service in communities across the U.S., a number of recent reports indicate that police officers often overstep their boundaries in the pursuit of suspected criminals.
Among the most egregious of these abuses was the reported treatment of David Eckert after he was pulled over for failure to stop at an intersection.
As the driver left a retailer in Deming, N.M. recently, reports indicate that a patrolling officer initiated a traffic stop. After noticing what appeared to be Eckert tightening his muscles, the cop determined that he might be trying to hide some illicit substance in his rectum.
Despite his pleas of innocence, local media reports that Eckert was held at the scene until the police officer could secure a cavity search warrant.
When a doctor at one medical center refused to perform the “unethical” anal search, police took Eckert to another facility willing to take on the task.
After two separate probes uncovered no drugs, police requested two X-rays and three enemas. Still, doctors found no evidence Eckert was hiding anything.
Unsatisfied, authorities reportedly subject the man to a colonoscopy – an invasive procedure that required him to be sedated beforehand – that similarly found no hidden contraband.
To compound the outrageous behavior, the colonoscopy was performed at a facility outside of the warrant-issuing county and took place three hours after the warrant expired. Furthermore, Eckert has since received a bill for the procedure.
Even though he continuously denied any wrongdoing, Eckert was subjected to this abuse simply because an officer thought he saw the driver clinch his posterior.
He is rightfully seeking damages in a lawsuit against those responsible. The harsh treatment by those tasked with protecting the public, however, will likely have a permanent effect on his life.
While the vast majority of officers operate within the confines of the law, the few who abuse their power cause the general public understandable skepticism. As the federal government continues to spend money on armed patrol units, and technological advances mean authorities can spy on virtually anyone, the rights of the individual are being relentlessly eroded.
As Eckert might attest, it has now reached the point that a nervous muscle twitch could result in the most intrusive search imaginable.
–B. Christopher Agee
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