A very disturbing series of allegations have been made against the Albany police involving abusive cavity searches, including one alleged performance in public.
Women have accused the police of conducting cavity searches with little or no suspicion of crime acts. Crystal Royal, 22, has sued, alleging that she was strip-searched in January by the Albany Police Department and then forced to undergo a pelvic cavity search at Albany Medical Center Hospital. Nothing was found.
This filing follows another complaint by Lisa Shutter who charged that she was given a cavity search on a public street during a traffic stop in December.
Royal said that was stopped by police on the interstate even though she had valid license and properly registered car. She also alleges that police took her cellphone and inspected
her call list. She was then given a strip search and cavity search at the station — nothing was found. She was later charged with a felony drug conspiracy count.
A third person, Tunde Clement, has also alleged such abuse. He claims that he was arrested at the Albany bus terminal and forced to undergo a strip-search at sheriff’s headquarters. He was then transported to Albany Medical, forcibly sedated, and given an involuntary anoscopy, X-rays and other examinations in a search for drugs. No drugs were found.
It is highly irregular to see such a pattern and should certainly justify further investigation. While cavity searches are routinely performed in prisons and other venues without a warrant, they are considered unreasonable under the fourth amendment without a sufficient showing of need and suspicion. The forced sedation case raises further questions over the need for a court order. In his case, he was forced to vomit and put through measures that cannot be treated as routine. Click here, for the Clement story.
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