KOB Eyewitness News 4
4 On Your Side Investigative Reporter Chris Ramirez interviews Deming Police Chief Brandon Gigante.

Unbelievable Degradation: Man Abused, Humiliated and Violated as Police Futilely Search for Drugs

ICTMN Staff
11/5/13

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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barry mace's picture
barry mace
Submitted by barry mace on
who was this asshole copper, Hey......if your an asshole watchu do`in wear`in a badge

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
The judge needs to be disbarred. The police should be fired. The doctors should be subject to medical review and black marks on their records. The resulting increase in their malpractice insurance should insure some sort of minimal punishment.

JENNY BARROWS's picture
JENNY BARROWS
Submitted by JENNY BARROWS on
This has just given me a gamut of emotions from disgust to anger to sorrow. I have a question that should be put to everyone who participated in this form of sadism, why, why was this person's human rights violated repeatedly with nearly no interception from others? Instead so many followed suit.

Karen I KLipp's picture
Karen I KLipp
Submitted by Karen I KLipp on
I swear for a free country we sure have a great many people being taken afvantage of because officers do not know their limit. They over step their bounds, they use tactics that are abominable and if they require these tests then they should have to pay for them. If found a false accusation as in this instense they should have to pay and be liable to the people they have abused! This is discusting and police officers need to get a grip on reality and realize to goto extremes can be costly to their careers and their pocket books! Thaks you

Sherry Horn's picture
Sherry Horn
Submitted by Sherry Horn on
WTF! What has the world come to, when you can't even drive down the street without someone violating your rights as a human being. That is what it's all about. Treating people as human beings, not violating their rights and then handing them the bill. I am so disgusted with this story. What have we become?1?

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
This is absolutely outrageous! I hope he sues the socks off of all involved. Definitely sounds like medical malpractice.

jeff cook (washoe)'s picture
jeff cook (washoe)
Submitted by jeff cook (washoe) on
the courts grant and remove our rights. this case is no different than law enforcement raiding the wrong house and denying that they did anything wrong. or shooting the wrong person, and denying they did anything wrong.

Bryan Campbell's picture
Bryan Campbell
Submitted by Bryan Campbell on
SUE THEM TILL THEIR GREAT GRAND CHILDREN HAVE TO PAY!!!!!!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
This is terrifying! Each of these procedures have quite a bit of risk associated with them, you can get injured by a colonoscopy, laxatives in enemas can cause serious dehydration, x-rays give needless exposure to radiation. If they get away with this dehumanizing and dangerous behavior the next victim might not survive this ordeal. This is a hate crime.

Faye Arbou's picture
Faye Arbou
Submitted by Faye Arbou on
This is altogether disgusting and all guilty will be made to pay. Would the police involved do this to their Mother or Grandmother ?? I think not. This man who went through these very shameful ordeals should get big time settlements from all involved, he would certainly qualify and it would help take some of the pain from him from the torture he was made to endure.!!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
THIS IS HORRIBLE UNJUST TREATMENT OF A HUMAN BEING!! NOW MAYBE I WOULD USE THE WORD 'PIGS' FOR POLICE OFFICERS!!!! AT LEAST IN THIS CASE!!!!!!!

Todd's picture
Todd
Submitted by Todd on
Those officers would be getting a bullet in the brain if it had happened to me.

Brenda McKinney's picture
Brenda McKinney
Submitted by Brenda McKinney on
I stand behind this man 100%. No where was there ever a reason for any of this vile disrespect. The so called officers I feel overstepped their authority. I feel this man should be free of all charges from any medical fees. And if my memory isnt failing me any such procedures medically should only be allowed when the "patient" signs a form giving the Doctors(so called) permission to do so.I would be raising MORTAL HELL had this happened to any one of my family members. Only in America. God help us. Please

karenwilson@gci.net's picture
karenwilson@gci.net
Submitted by karenwilson@gci.net on
I'm stunned

Mildred's picture
Mildred
Submitted by Mildred on
this is insane .I hope he owns the whole state before its over and he has the same thing done to all of them.

John Tunnicliff's picture
John Tunnicliff
Submitted by John Tunnicliff on
This is how terribly wrong the money from homeland security is being used. Surely they didn't have any reason for the search to begin with and this man should persue his lawsuit to the finality and make them pay not just money but they should be punished with jail time and a lifetime record of these actions

Coradean Camery's picture
Coradean Camery
Submitted by Coradean Camery on
I don't know if that man had given them cause in the past, but if he hadn't, they should throw the book at those who profess to be lawmen, they are thugs and worse than the people that they pull these unethical tactics on. How can one look up to the law if they misuse the power so blatantly?

Al W.'s picture
Al W.
Submitted by Al W. on
This is ridiculous; if even one can get a warrent for this. To do it so many times. The multiple attempts and enforcement observation is preposterious. We should like the tazer rules make officers & the others go through the same procedures. All this for what, grabbing his butt. Its worth Millions of Dollars - Physical & Psychological Abuse in my opinion.

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