Florida Police Sued For Allegedly Pulling Over Mother For Rolling Through Stop Sign and Then Strip Searching Her In Front of Children and Passerbys

There is a shocking lawsuit filed against the Citrus County Sheriff’s Department in Florida in which Leila Tarantino claims that she was pulled over for going through a stop sign and then stripped searched by the side of the road in front of her children.

Tarantino says that she was pulled over last July for allegedly rolling through a stop sign. She claims the officer immediately pulled his weapon and pulled her from the car without explanation or warning. She says that she was left in the back of his squad car for two hours and then strip searched by the side of the road in full view of bystanders. She further claims that a female officer “forcibly removed” a tampon from her during the strip search. She claims that there were five male officers and one female officer.

The civil action suit is against the government of Citrus County, Florida, Sheriff Jeffrey Dawsey and six unnamed police officers.

This is one of those cases where only a fraction of the allegations would need to be proven to make for an outrageous case. A strip search by the side of the road is itself a gross violation of standard procedures. We have not however heard from the officers or the department. They may contest that this was an actual strip search and contest the specific graphic details of the complaint below.

The long period of detention and lack of charges however raise serious questions regarding the basis for holding Tarantino. She was released with only a citation.

Here is a copy of the lawsuit.

Source: RT

Kudos: Catherine Maloney

119 thoughts on “Florida Police Sued For Allegedly Pulling Over Mother For Rolling Through Stop Sign and Then Strip Searching Her In Front of Children and Passerbys”

  1. nick spinelli: “Your ilk hate cops until they pull your ass out of a wringer. Again, I know more about the abuses of cops than most of the idealogues here. They are not saints, nor are they satan. They are us.

    Late to the party but, couple of things: No they are not us. there are some things no normal person does and that includes strip searching someone in public if the allegation is accurate. Strip searches are done in an official facility, to do it otherwise is meant to humiliate and inflict mental/emotional anguish. Her background is irrelevant, only what took place at the stop is relevant and that would be the case regardless of sex, age, race, handicapping condition, whatever label you want to apply.

    Also, I am simply tired of the ‘until they pull your ass out of the wringer’ argument regarding the military and the the police. That’s their job, that’s what they chose to do, that’s what gets them their pay check, that’s why they exist as a profession. That argument being used by others to justify bad work is craven, and by the ‘professionals’ in question no more than whining.

    And like Romney, I like firing people that work for me, people that screw-up egregiously, are bad at their job, don’t follow the rules, that bring deserved disrespect on their profession. If the allegation is accurate I’d fire them first and put them in jail for assault second. Would not hesitate. If that’s being an ideologue then color me an unreconstructed ideologue.

  2. Anonymously Yours
    1, August 10, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    How so?
    I think it (not mentioning the cops names) is a false shield for the cop and an element that allows for too much venting of group behavior onto the civilian. It shores up an ‘Us and Them’ mentality and creates a false (hopefully) dynamic where the power imbalance can be exploited either consciously or unconsciously. In short, it feeds into situations of potential abuse. I find it interesting that here on a legal blog we often see the names of the victims or accused and it is not after the verdict has been reached.

    I am Oliver Stone

  3. i wonder whose exgirlfriend she is. strip searching and removing someones tampon on the side of the road sounds like a personal message.

  4. raff,

    To be a samurai in argumentation, a machine in logic and a ninja researcher. For their part it involved the academic equivalent of being thrown off a cliff combined with the occasional cattle prod, very little sleep and a fair amount of drinking. Standard law school fare. :mrgreen:

  5. If these cops have records of interactions with CPS or Family Court, are you going to be willing to trot that out as damning them in this instant case as well? Or mitigating? Or will you cry irrelevant then? Because they are cops.

    I’m still interested in an answer to these questions.

  6. Tough crowd, tough crowd.

    Here thay play as though it was a zero-sum game. Ie limited attention, bandwidth, attention span, ranking, whatever. In fact, with moderate tolerance new ideas, right or wrong, which can be discussed can emerge, in spite of the abouve mentioned limited resources.

    Now that means ideas repugnant in form, content, purpose,
    congruence, rigorosity, information content, etc etc. may emerge also.

    The atmosphere quickly clouds as those established, of old or of new arrivals, seek to defend their share, their territory, their prestige, their egos.

    Ach, we people—how pitiful we are.

    Just saying goodnight after checking in from writing a long essay to my friends on the translation from one mind to another.

  7. You find no favor for the cops and yet trot out some unrelated family matter as character evidence against Tarantino. And I quote “A cursory check by myself, who has worked civil litigation cases as a PI for decades, shows the plainiff is not mother of the year. I will leave it @ that.” The implication being that her not being “mother of the year” is somehow relevant to her claim against the police.

    Yeah. There’s bias and bullshit going on here, sport, but you’re the one serving it up.

  8. Oooo. The attempt at reversal, that straw man again and attacking my credentials.

    You’ll have to do better than that, amateur. I was trained by the Jesuits.

  9. bettykath, I’ve been involved in thousands of trials. Nothing, I repeat, nothing is official until it has been accepted as evidence. You’ve convicted Zimmerman, I’m sorry I’m not ready to jump on the bandwagon. I will not find in favor of these cops or Ms.Tarantino. Yes, I am “boring” in that regard. But, that’s the way it’s suppose to work. We are all in the USA aren’t we?

  10. nick, “Most of what we know in Zimmerman are self serving leaks from both sides.”

    That may be all you know, but don’t lump us into that. Read what I posted. What has been released, according to FL law, includes

    all of Zimmerman’s statements to the police, either in his own handwriting or in video; Zimmerman’s walk-thru video with the police; official witness statements, including audio recordings, the video of Zimmerman’s voice stress test; all the police and emt reports; security camera videos; autopsy report; forensic reports on the gun, the holster and the clothing of both Zimmerman and Martin; state investigators’ reports; and stuff I don’t remember off hand.

    It’s all on the web. There are links in the threads on this blog. Help yourself. or not.

  11. I attacked no one Gene. Now get some sleep. I applaude scrutiny of both parties, that is what this justice system is based upon. You were ready to lynch the cops and I called you on it. I know in your little world you’re not used to getting called on horse manure. Well, Gene get used to it! Again, Gene, besides being guest blogger here what are your credentials?

  12. nick, I’m curious, you went to the trouble of looking up non-relevant information about Tarantino but you aren’t interested in the official documents, lots of them, about Zimmerman?

    You’re patient and don’t offer opinions on on-going cases? That’s very noble of you, and boring. And no one here cares. Your opinions are welcome but not required.

    It’s not nice to throw smelly stuff at Melisha (or anyone else) because we do offer opinions. I inferred a question from your slam at Melisha and provided you with pointers (that were more direct than what you provided) so you can see that Melisha, and myself, aren’t offering opinions in the dark. Look at it or not.

  13. bettykath, Pease read all that I’ve said here. You misrepresent what I’ve said. Most of what we know in Zimmerman are self serving leaks from both sides. All I’m ever interested in is facts that have been accepted as evidence in court. To date, there is no trial or evidence in Zimmerman or Tarantino. I don’t trust cops, I don’t trust ANYONE. I trust the rule of law and evidence. To date, there are none in this matter or Zimmerman. It’s not that complicated although some try and make it so.

  14. If you don’t know when you owe someone an apology for attacking their character with inadmissible and irrelevant evidence simply because they are the plaintiff, I suggest you look to the parenting skills applied to you. It’s that whole plank/mote problem. However, you claim to not have an agenda yet you are unrepentant in your attacks on Taratino’s character, all the while bemoaning the scrutiny these cops are going to be under because of their alleged and very serious misuse of authority they are charged with.


    If these cops have records of interactions with CPS or Family Court, are you going to be willing to trot that out as damning them in this instant case as well? Or mitigating? Or will you cry irrelevant then? Because they are cops.

    Uh huh.

  15. nick, There is a difference between the two cases. In the more recent one, only the complaint is known. (I’m not familiar with your reference and have no curiosity to go there). It is damning of the cops. Do they have a side? Of course. Nothing happened here, move along, folks. ok, I’m a cynic when it comes to cops being thugs. Will I pay attention to the cops’ statement? yes. Will I carefully watch the dashboard video? yes, if it hasn’t been “lost”. oh, dear, there’s that cynicism again.

    In the Zimmerman case there is a lot very credible information available from both sides. If the prosecutor does a credible job, Zimmerman will be spending a long time in jail. His story just doesn’t work.

  16. Do I owe the plaintiff an apology for her transgressions that are public record, accessible to anyone online? I thought you were an attorney, or do you just play one on tv.
    when someone files a lawsuit their public, and to a great degree their private record, are fair game. These cops records will be fair game, as they should also be. What type of law do you practice, bankruptcy? Or, do you just teach?

  17. Like I said, oh hard of understanding one, you don’t owe anyone here an apology.

    However, you do owe Leila Tarantino an apology.

    And if you’re really interesting in kissing someone’s ass I suggest you start with your own. It’s going to be sore if you ever decide to pull your head out of it. Maybe kissing your boo boo will make it all better. Or not.

  18. Gene Howington, I apolgize profusely. You are apparently a sometimes guest blogger here and a legend in your own mind. I’m new in these parts and I have been warned to mind the pecking order. I am both humbled and impressed. Do I kiss your ring or ass prior to calling you FOS?

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