Florida Police Force Under Fire For Demeaning Treatment Of Woman In Roadside Stop

There is disturbing video out of Lakeland, Florida where a police officer, Dustin Fetz, is under attack for ordering a woman to shake her bra during a search for drugs at a traffic stop. There appears no basis for the drug search, which are becoming more and more common on the roads as drivers find themselves accused of minor traffic violations but then subjected to full drug searches.

Zoe Brugger and her boyfriend on May 21 were pulled over while driving with a broken headlight. Fetz tells Brugger to pull up her shirt, pull her bra away from her body and shake it out so he could see if she was hiding any drugs.

He then asks permission to search her car. At first she agrees but then changes her answer to no. However, Fetz searches the car anyway without permission. No drugs were found on her or her boyfriend or in their car.

An investigation found that Fetz’s actions “went beyond the police actions that are permissible under law” and “violated the constitutional rights afforded to Zoe Brugger.” Notably, there was another officer present but there is no record of his informing anyone of the unconstitutional actions of his colleague. Officers are routinely excused from this duty to report such violations.

Notably, these pretext stops have been more common after the Supreme Court ruled that it would not question the motivation of such stops. Many civil libertarians condemned the Supreme Court in its decision in Whren v. United States, 517 U.S. 806 (1996), where it refused to consider whether a stop was clearly based on a pretext in judging the constitutionality of the later search. We have seen abusive searches in such stops in past cases.

Notably, the police department is willing to question the bra shaking demand but have been silent on the search itself as well as the obvious use of a pretext for the stop.

Source: TBO

46 thoughts on “Florida Police Force Under Fire For Demeaning Treatment Of Woman In Roadside Stop”

  1. Robin:

    I can sympathize with what you are saying in that it is not fair the taxpayers end up paying for the misdeeds of these rogues but it can be said that if taxpayers enabled some of this by electing politicians that were either involved or indifferent to allow the environment for this to happen. Admittedly this is not a direct cause and effect and many citizens can be burdened with an abusive PD and have little say in it. Plus, the lawsuit can bring in other factions that will pressure the PD into reform, either it be insurance carriers or outside gov’t agencies that see this happen and start asking questions. Again, it is not directly related sometimes.

    Unfortunately the civil lawsuit is often the only way the individual citizen can seek justice against being violated by the police. Getting outside gencies to prosecute is not alwasys easy but a person may file a lawsuit and have their day in court.

    On a side note, I felt the officer who gloved up and did the digital body cavity search on those women on the traffic stop you mentioned, I felt that officer should have been charged with rape. The elements of the crime were certainly there.

  2. this is almost as horrible as the 2 cops who violated the aunt and niece by sticking a finger inside of them both using one glove. when oh when will the people begin to fight back. AND SUING the dept only means suing the taxpayers who have no function in the hiring of said rogues. when we start going after the rogues themselves then this type of treatment will begin to come to a end. wait thats if the judge and cop along with the lawyers arent all masons

  3. Clearly, someone so angry as to use fighting words like that could use some serenity. Hope that works out for you.

  4. “I did indeed f@ck a few dude’s mamas here!!”

    Nothing confrontational about that. Although in most jurisdictions such a statement would be considering fighting words. Just sayin’.

    1. Nick,

      Relax. Chill buddy. It’s okay we all understand that it’s so hard for you to be in control all the time. The words just flick out from your fingers and before you know it you’re writing about having sex with people’s female companions here. You’re better than that Nick, you’re a good person and people like you because you’re such a friendly, lovable guy.

  5. “I’m generally against traffic roadblock stops. Mikey, I’m a big 4th amendment guy, like Nino”

    And I appreciate that after five comments you finally stated an opinion, though brief, of your thoughts on this blog post. One for eight is your on topic batting average. That’s not bad for you……I do see improvement.

  6. AY, I’m letting this one go,,please PLEASE call me Mahatma! I’m doing the nonviolent work.

  7. AY, Actually, it’s Mahatma. I’ve always dreamed about being called Mahatma. I’m not Ghandi worthy, but I think I’m Mahatma worthy. And, hell, you can call me a mofo whenever you wish. Because I did indeed f@ck a few dude’s mamas here!!

  8. The blawg people will be most happy I can’t promise I will call you Gandhi…. But I will promise not to call you MF….

  9. AY, No promises, but if I do as you request will you take note and call me “Mahatma.”

  10. Nick,

    I think you attacked mike for no apparent reason…. Today I was kinda attacked but did not respond…. Try it not responding to it….
    P

  11. The Professor gives no indication of how he thinks we’ve gotten to such a point that even Uncle Ronnie’s former Ass’t Treasury openly says we are now living in a police state, and of course lots of professionals profit from events such as this one down in Jebica – home of the Bushman who just might be the next Reegan/Clinton/Obama con man.

  12. You are approaching a world record on the use of “ad hominem” in one week. Good luck!

  13. I’m generally against traffic roadblock stops. Mikey, I’m a big 4th amendment guy, like Nino. You brought up USSR tactics in your 4:25p comment. Geez!!! Nothing about this poor woman for whom I expressed empathy for after Blouise posted those heartbreaking photos. It was just about you. not this victim, just Mikey and a little about his wife.

    1. “You brought up USSR tactics in your 4:25p comment. Geez!!!”

      Then you garbled it with an attack upon me as a McCarthyite. Don’t let it bother you though Nick, anger is a difficult emotion for you to control, so I am beginning to understand and sympathize with how hard it is for you to control yourself. I was insensitive not to have understood your disability earlier and I apologize for it.

  14. AY, I know rogue cops and know the harm they do to individuals, our justice system, good cops, etc. In no way was I defending this guy and that’s backed up by my prior comments. I’m quite certain you and I are in total agreement here.

  15. Nick,

    Ever heard of rogue cops? I bet the cop in Lakeland was just doing his proscribed duties….

  16. Well, it was Tail Gunner Joe who kept pointing our USSR tactics as you so poignantly just did regarding your traffic stop. Completely legit, but I sense you didn’t like it. Then just use some different references..problem solved. Or, I could use Goldwater, Nixon, Reagan, etc. comparisons if you prefer. I aim to please.

    1. “Well, it was Tail Gunner Joe who kept pointing our USSR tactics as you so poignantly just did regarding your traffic stop. Completely legit”

      What does “pointing our USSR tactics” even mean?

      By “completely legit” mean. You’re for or against traffic stops, or that your ad hominem attack on me was “completely legit”.

      Wouldn’t it be more productive of you, with your extensive experience, to actually make a comment on the Professor’s position in this article? You’ve made five comments so far and haven’t referred to the article once? Did it bore you?

  17. It shouldn’t take much research to find out the reason for that traffic stop action. Maybe it’s just me, but I believe there are legit reasons for such actions. I would do my homework before making a McCarthy like innuendo into the motives of the police. Then, if the reasons for this action were horseshit, one could make a righteous and forceful complaint, instead of a generic one. If the reasons were legit, that could be reported in a positive report. But, that’s what makes this country so wonderful. We can handle situations such as this the way our personalities and politics lead us.

    1. “It shouldn’t take much research to find out the reason for that traffic stop action. Maybe it’s just me, but I believe there are legit reasons for such actions. I would do my homework before making a McCarthy like innuendo into the motives of the police.”

      Was that directed at me Nick and were you calling me McCarthy like? What a jolly fellow you are. 🙂

  18. On Sunday here in the country there was a policeman standing by an intersection, stopping cars and asking questions. He asked me where I lived and where my car was registered. Looked over me and my wife and finally waved us on. I have no idea what the purpose of this stop was, it was a busy intersection and caused a traffic jam. Didn’t we used to criticize the USSR for this type of police behavior?

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