Unbelievable Degradation: Man Abused, Humiliated and Violated as Police Futilely Search for Drugs
On January 2, 2013, David Eckert failed to make a complete stop when exiting a Wal-Mart parking lot in Deming, New Mexico, a federal lawsuit states.
Eckert was immediately pulled over, and when police officers asked him to step out of his car, one cop reported Eckert appeared to be "clenching his buttocks," Shannon Kennedy, Eckert's attorney, told KOB-4. That was cited as probable cause that Eckert was concealing narcotics in his anal cavity. The cops obtained a search warrant for a cavity search that a doctor at an emergency room in Deming refused to perform, deeming it "unethical."
But physicians at the Gila Regional Medical Center in Silver City conceded to conduct the procedure, which gave way to a 14-hour violation of Eckert's body that involved law enforcement ordering a second cavity probe, an x-ray, two enemas followed by forced public defecation, and a colonoscopy—all procedures that Eckert protested.
KOB-4, which reviewed Eckert's medical records, details his unfathomable hospital experience:
—Eckert’s abdominal area was X-rayed; no narcotics were found.
—Doctors then performed an exam of Eckert’s anus with their fingers; no narcotics were found.
—Doctors performed a second exam of Eckert’s anus with their fingers; no narcotics were found.
—Doctors penetrated Eckert’s anus to insert an enema. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.
—Doctors penetrated Eckert’s anus to insert an enema a second time. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.
—Doctors penetrated Eckert’s anus to insert an enema a third time. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.
—Doctors then X-rayed Eckert again; no narcotics were found.
—Doctors prepared Eckert for surgery, sedated him, and then performed a colonoscopy where a scope with a camera was inserted into Eckert’s anus, rectum, colon, and large intestines. No narcotics were found.
The defilement continues. The hospital has since charged Eckert for all the procedures and they have threatened taking him to collections, DailyKos.com reported.
Kennedy is arguing the warrant was only valid in Luna County, where Deming is located, not Grant County, home to The Gila Regional Medical Center. Furthermore, the search warrant expired at 10 p.m., hours before Eckert's physical probe ended. KOB-4 reported the prepping for the colonoscopy began at 1 a.m. the next day.
"This is like something out of a science fiction film, anal probing by government officials and public employees," Kennedy told KOB-4.
Eckert is suing the City of Deming and three Deming police officers, as well as three Hidalgo County deputies. He's also suing Deputy District Attorney Daniel Dougherty and the Gila Regional Medical Center.
Deming Police Chif Brandon Gigante told 4 On Your Side Investigative Reporter Chris Ramirez, "We follow the law in every aspect and we follow policies and protocols that we have in place."
Eckert's reasoning for going public with his humiliation is to avoid setting a frightening precedent, Eckert's attorney told the Herald-Sun.
"If the officers in Hidalgo County and the City of Deming are seeking warrants for anal cavity searches based on how they’re standing and the warrant allows doctors at the 'Gila Hospital of Horrors' to go in and do enemas and colonoscopies without consent, then anyone can be seized," Shannon Kennedy said.
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