A roundup of criminal justice abuses from recent headlines…
• Albany woman stopped for what appears to be no reason, then subjected to a drug search with no apparent probable cause (she says they told her "you're a white woman driving a rental car," and "you fit the profile"). During the public search, she says one officer inserted two fingers into her vagina. The offending officers have yet to be disciplined. And during the investigation, an internal affairs officer tells the woman not to take her complaint to the civilian review board, and to let the department handle things "internally." Now, others are coming forward with similar stories.
• The OC Weekly follows up on an absolutely outrageous case in which a carjacking suspect took a plea under a direct threat from the trial judge that he'd put the man in prison for life if he continued to maintain his innocence and was still convicted. This, after DNA evidence excluded the man. The crime lab expert says when she showed the test results to the prosecutor, she said she "didn't care" about the findings, "I want him not excluded." More disturbingly, she added, "About every week, we ask the crime lab to reconsider findings. Sometimes, they make changes." The suspect was later exonerated when the crime lab was able to match the DNA to a career criminal.
• A bailiff in Arkansas mistakenly locked a woman in a holding cell over a four-day weekend without food, water, or a toilet. She drank her own urine to prevent dying of thirst. He'll get to keep his job.
• The latest way to show you're "getting tough" on drunk driving: Forcibly shove a catheter into the penis of a DWI suspect.
• Finally, just so this post isn't too much of a bummer, here's one of the more entertaining police blotter blurbs I've seen in awhile.