ACLU Files Lawsuit Against New Mexico Police For Allegedly Spraying Mace On Woman’s Genitals

353px-Seal_of_Bernalillo_County,_New_Mexico.svg220px-American_Civil_Liberties_Union_logoThe American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit that, if true, would stand as one of the most grotesque and vicious cases of police abuse in recent memory. Marlene Tapia says that she was arrested and forced to strip naked for a contraband examination. The officers at the Metropolitan Detention Center (Bernalillo County New Mexico) claimed that she had a plastic baggie in her vagina and, according to the lawsuit, forced her to bend over and as punishment sprayed mace inside of her vagina.

The lawsuit identifies the officer who sprayed the mace as Blanca Zapater and said that she sprayed the mace twice.

Peter Simonson, the Executive Director of ACLU of New Mexico has publicly denounced the actions for its “maliciousness.” The woman was in pain for weeks.

Reports say that the officer who sprayed the mace has been “disciplined” but what does that mean? If this is true, why would the officer not be fired and criminally charged?

We have obviously not heard the side of the police in the case, but the ACLU is not known to file frivolous lawsuits.

If the allegations are true, this would constitute a form of torture. It would raise serious questions not only about the potential criminal charges for the officer but the terminations of supervisors who felt that this was a mere matter for “discipline” rather than termination. If discipline was ordered, it would appear to confirm that the mace was not used for self-protection. If so, why was it used?

27 thoughts on “ACLU Files Lawsuit Against New Mexico Police For Allegedly Spraying Mace On Woman’s Genitals”

  1. My husband and sons are Alaska Native, easily confused for not ‘Merican. There is no way in Hades, we will ever spend our tourist dollars in that state. Hawaii all the way I guess.

  2. Has anyone else on this blog seen the Swedish version of ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’? I believe that this woman has the right to mark her tormentor, as the girl in the movie did, with a permanent tattoo, across his forehead.

  3. From the four stories we have read about coming out of NM in the last couple of weeks it would appear that one doesn’t have to be a power-tripping, sadistic, sexual pre-vert to be one of New Mexico’s warriors in their war on drugs but if you are, you for sure will fit in just fine. Fire and arrest Blanca Zapater.

  4. Isn’t this the same police force that recently fired on a van full of kids?

    Maybe they’re all hoping to bust Walter White.

  5. DE-nut him on PBS live TV! Sorry professor, I know you abhor violence, but the police in New Mexico gone too far, and a demonstration is necessary

  6. If the police officer were disciplined the incident no doubt happened. If the mace was sprayed, what possible justification could the officer have for doing it, that could not be seen as an intentional act of torture. Following that then when do the police powers extend to torture. The officer should be fired and the officer should be criminally charged with assault.

  7. Imagine how bad it would have been if they had pepper-sprayed her genitals, instead of her “genitels”.

  8. It appears that because of the their positions and being monetarily and legally backed by government prosecutors, defense lawyers and Judges, police officers feel as if they are extremely powerful, influential and protected. The heightened ego that this causes in addition to the average IQ, can make them dangerous to the very people they are supposed to be protecting as their is sometimes a fine line, obviously not in this case, between following orders and going over their mandated actions of enforcement.

    A club/fraternity mentality of us against them appears to prevail with the financial costs born by the taxpayers. Government in the ever present role of tax collectors and law enforcers place police on the from lines as the process serving, arresting, and if necessary the ability to use deadly force to enforce some laws deemed unjust and unconstitutional by Citizens.

    Many people in government have a similar mentality the longer they are employed by government and therefore are in the fraternity. They learn that between their jobs being protected by the union and their fraternity status on the force, they are above the law of the general public. A sort of empowerment complex mentally gained over time by those in the fraternity.

    The tampering or planting of evidence is a common example or the participation in criminal activities such as drug trafficking are more common that we think. Whistle blowers are highly frowned upon by the fraternity they all protect one another when indiscretions by officers occur.

    Ticket fixing by lack of prosecution is a major problem in many jurisdictions around not only the US but the world, that is provided to those in the fraternity. They often extent this activity through kickbacks/payoffs to those in the generally public they know. An example is a Judge in Atlanta Georgia was caught and prosecuted taking money from an elderly women, to make her grandson’s DUI arrest go away. The women just happened to be my step grandmother Beatrice.

    There are hundreds of stories of similar activities and a host of bocks by ex-cops themselves that show the level of protection that police are afforded by the fraternity. Some Libertarians often call from privatization of police to make them more beholden to the Citizens than government. It police organizations must collect their money directly from the Citizens and cannot force them to pay, the loyalty that cops have those who pay them will be transferred from government to the Citizens, minimizing the power of the fraternity.

  9. BarkinDog tells me that he and his half blind guy drove through New Mexico in recent years. I am not sure which one was at the wheel. But BarkinDog says that the place is a Pirate Territory and to drive around it. Fly over and Flush, he says.

  10. I’m surprised a SWAT team wasn’t called. That seems to be the go-to strategy in almost all law enforcement situations today.

  11. It’s the same old story. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The more power we give police and the more we shield them from misbehavior, the more likely they will be to abuse that power.

  12. They can. As a result, they do. Out of control and above the law, it puts us all at risk.

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