Texas Police Officer Suspended With Pay In Roadside “Cavity Search” Case

youtube-user-urbanwarfarechannel-screenshot.nWe previously discussed the lawsuit over what was described as a roadside cavity search conducted on two women by a Texas police officer in search of marijuana possession. The Texas Department of Public Safety trooper Kelly Helleson has now been suspended with pay as the police investigate the matter, which was caught on videotape. What I fail to understand is why, once again, nothing happened until the public rose up in anger over the absurd actions of the police. Moreover, there is no mention of the first officer who used the fact that Angel Hobbs, 38, had thrown a cigarette butt out of her window to interrogate the two women on possible pot use and then searched their car.

Hobbs and her 24-year-old niece, Ashley Hobbs, were the subject of the intrusive search by Helleson while the other officer was present. However, it took a lawsuit and national media to get the police to respond. Why? Clearly, the women had complained earlier and there was a videotape available. Moreover, it is only the strip searches not the pretext stop and overreaction by both officers that appear the focus of the investigation. Take the strip searches out of the equation for a second. Is it appropriate for a Texas officer to use a pretext to trigger this type of roadside interrogation and search. Both women were told to get out of the car and then the officer simply declared that he smelled pot to justify a search of the vehicle. How is that different in substance from the types of searches that we read about in abusive countries or police states? Police can look for anything that might result in an arrest after declaring that they smell pot. None was found in the car. I also doubt that this was the first time that such a search occurred given the statement of the officers that it is routine.

Source: CBS

72 thoughts on “Texas Police Officer Suspended With Pay In Roadside “Cavity Search” Case”

  1. I can’t believe a warrant isn’t required to perform a cavity search! One is required to search my home. To think a police officer could perform a cavity search on me is horrifying. I don’t think I would allow it. I would refuse. ( and probably get tazed or beaten) It is assault, sexual assault and the officers should be registered sex offenders.

  2. 2 Texas cops indicted over roadside cavity searches

    Two Department of Public Safety troopers were indicted Monday by a Dallas County grand jury after two women alleged roadside searches during a traffic stop included the penetration of their vaginas and anuses.

    Kelly Helleson is the trooper accused of performing the searches with the same latex glove. She was indicted on two counts of sexual assault and two counts of official oppression.

    The trooper who called Helleson to conduct the search, David Farrell, was indicted on a charge of theft by a public servant.

  3. You know, I saw a comment made on one of the news stories about this event, by a Brazilian. I think it is interesting:

    Only in a country full of bullshit laws like America u watch such stupidity.. Come to Brazil and try to do this search ..rip police.

    Not that I think those two women could have done anything to protect themselves, but that in general, we DO respect law enforcement officers here and we DO tolerate violations of our freedom much more than we should.

    By the side of the road after it happened, as one of the Dobbs women tells the male cop that she was violated, he calmly said, “That’s because your car smelled of marijuana, OK?” He actually believed that was “OK” because he thought the car smelled like Marijuana.

    What you have here is two phenomena that have grown so healthy and so oversized in our country that they are almost unassailable:

    1. Those in power, such as the police, give as “reasons” for anything they choose to do, whatever THEY think was “wrong” with the victims to whom they are doing it (or have done it). I have seen this with cops, judges, agency employees, lawyers, even laypersons. They simply slander their victims and then believe that they showed “good cause” for what they did. Obviously, this has no place in a democracy.

    2. Those who are not in power do not ordinarily protest until things become so outrageous and so public that there is some back-up for them to do so. This is because they generally believe the useless phrase “they can’t do that to you” and while they are being victimized, they are paralyzed in disbelief. They also think the problem will be corrected almost immediately, as soon as they make a protest about it. This keeps them from reacting normally to what is done to them.

  4. I do not know why this did not occur to me last year, but now it does. I am stunned by the fact that this just occurred to me and that it is so significant I can hardly get it out: The search that the female officer performed on these two women was NOT a search at all; there was no “search” motivation and no way to determine what, if anything, was found or COULD be found. Think about it.

    If the officer’s finger, in its glove, came in contact with anything, how would the officer determine what her finger had come in contact with? Could she figure out that it was in fact marijuana? If she encountered something she felt was solid within the anus of either victim, could she identify it? If she came in contact with something solid within the vagina of either victim, could she identify it?

    She did not check to see if their bras were perhaps padded with marijuana pouches, did she? She did not check to see if their shoes had compartments in which rocks of crack cocaine were snuggled, did she?

    She did not even perform a search; she ONLY performed rapes.

  5. Is there an address where we can all complain. This is a nightmare. Both officers need to be fired!

  6. Darren,

    “no different than a stranger”, Though I agree with your post, I rate the trooper’s rape as significantly more offensive as it is perpetrated by those who have the sworn obligation and are paid to protect the citizen from the very type(s) of criminality that is being perpetrated in the video. This makes the conduct a much more aggravated crime. Accordingly it deserves harsher punishment. Much harsher to adequately serve as a deterrent.

    I’m not holding my breath that there will ever be a criminal prosecution of these two. At best I can see a civil settlement and the female trooper allowed to resign without further consequence. The male trooper, the set up guy will suffer no meaningful consequence for his action. The female trooper will go to work in some Texas backwater town and continue to abuse constitutional rights of citizens.

  7. Malisha,

    Of course, it is a ubiquitous through out our whole society.
    From all three branchs on down to the the kindergarten among teachers who overlook “small* misdemeanors themselves between.

    Closing ranks is a universal pheinonema.
    But whare justice is to be done, it is PARTICULARLY unfortunate.

    And is the proof of success by your prospective lawyer, that he can use this corruption?

  8. Idealist, what is even worse is that there is a code of silence among our federal judges, too.

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