Texas DPS Sued Over Painful and Humiliating Cavity Searches


Angel and Ashley Dobbs were driving down the George Bush Turnpike in Dallas, Texas, this past July when they were pulled over by a state trooper who saw one of them throw a cigarette butt out of the window. Whilst writing up a ticket for littering the trooper supposedly smelled weed in the car. When the trooper refused to believe the women were not in possession of marijuana he called for back up from a female state trooper. State trooper Kelley Helleson arrived at the scene and proceeded to perform a "painful and humiliating" cavity search on each woman, without even replacing her rubber gloves between searches.

The two women have filed a lawsuit against the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) challenging the legality and brutality of the searches. According to the lawsuit, released Tuesday, Helleson used her fingers to search inside each woman's genital areas without consent. The Dobbs women also state that the trooper did not explain the extent of her search prior to their examination. When asked by Angel Dobbs why she was putting on blue latex gloves she told her "not to worry about it." The search took place on the illuminated roadside in full view of passing vehicles.

The aunt and niece are also suing Steven McCraw, the director of the DPS, for being aware of a "long standing pattern of police misconduct involving unlawful strip searches, cavity searches and the like" yet failing to take any corrective course of action.

The search found no illegal substances on either woman or their vehicle and Angel Dobbs, the driver, passed a field sobriety test. Angel Dobbs feels the lawsuit is necessary to prevent further incidents like this one, which has had a lasting effect on her. "I was molested, I was violated, I was humiliated in front of other traffic. I had to watch my niece go through the same thing and I could not protect her at that point." Scott Palmer, the family's attorney, commented on the case arguing "this is outside the constitutional grounds by a mile. It's not even close. This has to stop. These two need to be stopped. There's no telling how many other people they've done this to and we hope that others come forward."

The incident was caught on video by the trooper's dash cam and can be seen here (at your own discretion) 

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  1. But if it saves just one child from the degradation of pot smoking, it's worth it.

    1. This is WAR, after all.

    2. I really hope that is sarcasm.

  2. "Texas Department of Public Safety Gleefully Continues To Employ Rapist" would also be an accurate headline.

    Nope. No double standard.

    1. It wasn't "rape-rape".

      Also, officer safety, continuum of force, procedures followed, the new professionalism, **Lights Dunphy Signal**...

      And, as always, fried chicken.

      1. Fried-chicken fingers would help with the raping at least.

  3. They'll settle out of court, the taxpayers will get the bill, and the cops will continue to molest people after being trained on how to do it without getting into trouble.

    1. the cops will continue to molest people after being trained on how to do it without getting into trouble.

      Ma'am, please step over here out the line of sight of the camera traffic. - TX DPS

      1. I am shocked the dash canera didn't 'malfunction'.

  4. To protect and serve.

  5. Actually that trooper is kinda hot. I'd let her peek into the Kraken Den

    1. Actually that trooper is kinda hot. I'd let her peek into the Kraken Den

      Actually, your cavity search would be conducted by a male officer, Probably a large one with fists the size of cantaloupes. Hairy, too.

      Think that'd wake the Kraken?

      1. Well he does need to be walked twice a day, so your suggestion might offer the bonus of delivering my opinion of this situation.

  6. Seems like the coppers were frustrated they didn't find any cause for arrest so they did something they needed cause to do in order to find some cause to arrest the women.

  7. Sexual assault at gunpoint.

    I wonder what sort of charges would be brought against two "civilians" who did this.

    1. Penal Code, Sec. 22.011.(a) creates the offence of sexual assault. It reads:
      (a) A person commits an offense if the person:
      (1) intentionally or knowingly:
      (A) causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person's consent;

      Sexual assault.

      1. Given the implicit threats on hand whenever an armed officer of the law demands something, I suspect you could easily get this to aggravated.

        1. You people aren't going to start yelling about rape culture, are you? These penetrations weren't about sexual gratification, they were about authority, the authority to do good. If these women weren't so obviously possibly hiding something then law enforcement wouldn't need to go spelunking.

          1. AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas lawmakers gave their initial backing Monday to legislation that would criminalize intentional, inappropriate touching during airport security pat-downs, but it was so watered down it provoked angry outbursts from conservative activists, who decried it as toothless.

            Maybe Texas lawmakers should focus on the "intentional, inappropriate touching" done by their own officers.

          2. These penetrations weren't about sexual gratification, they were about authority

            That was tongue-in-cheek, right?

          3. The women weren't hiding anything... and even if they did have marijuana, that would not be nearly worthy enough of humiliating two women like that, especially in public!

          4. Ancient soldiers used to rape the enemy they caught. This wasn't about sexual gratification, it was about demonstrating dominance. Actually, most instances of "rape-rape" are exactly the same. If the perp just wanted to get off he just use some Jergens.

        2. Some googling indicates that Texas does consider the presence of weapon or the threat to use a weapon as an aggravating factor.

          1. The relevant statute's here. From it:

            [22.011](b) A sexual assault under Subsection (a)(1) is without the consent of the other person if:...(8) the actor is a public servant who coerces the other person to submit or participate;

            2nd degree felony if convicted, so 2-20 years, + fine without any sentence enhancements. Tex. Penal Code [section] 12.33.

            If the following language applies:

            [Section 22.021]...2) if:
            (A) the person:...(iv) uses or exhibits a deadly weapon in the course of the same criminal episode; [or]
            (v) acts in concert with another who [also commits a sexual assault] directed toward the same victim and occurring during the course of the same criminal episode;

            we can get to aggravated sexual assault, which is a first degree felony, 5-99 years + fine. Tex. Penal Code [section] 12.32.

            There's probably a safe harbor for, e.g., jailors, but I can't find it in a cursory search.

            I can only imagine the glee of the DA's office if a prole did a cavity search of a, e.g., suspected thief, in public view, while wearing a handgun. I know why they aren't indicted, but this is just galling. And you know those thugs aren't going to get so much as a vacation out of this.

  8. Trooper Farrell smelled weed. Probable cause. There was no weed. Should Trooper Farrell smelling weed in the future be probable cause since Trooper Farrell smelling or claiming to smell is indicative of nothing?

    1. I approve of this.

      1. How about if you swear a probable cause oath and the warrant turns up nothing, then your next warrant requires two judges. Do it again, four judges, then eight, sixteen and so on.

        1. I like where this is going. Let's make it follow the Fibonacci Sequence instead, just to confuse them.

          1. Really? You think anything more than a '+1' sequence is necessary to confuse these clowns?

            1. I like SugarFree's formulation. 2**n is reasonable.

  9. And, of course, if an enraged brother/father/uncle/boyfriend tracked each of these scumbags down and put a round behind their ear, the media would go into full bore WAR ON COPS mode. As for forcible sodomy under color of authority, they have bigger fish to fry.

    1. I'm quite certain that any reporter who made a big deal out of police abusing their authority would find themselves pulled over and searched a couple times a day until they wised up and left town.

    2. If these women, the victims, had resisted and used force to defend themselves from these gangsters I'd definitely acquit if i got on the jury

    3. Truthfully, if I was boyfriend/husband/father I probably would have attacked that cop... then UNFORTUNATELY gone to jail for it too... this is a messed up world...

  10. That is fucking vile. What's even worse, is that if these women had resisted being raped, they would be dead or facing serious charges.

  11. Somewhat OT for this thread, by the A.M. Links seem to have petered out. But it does involve cops, so there ya go

    Anyway, I've been perusing the articles and comments at PoliceOne a lot since Friday, interested in hearing what cops think needs to be done in the wake of the shootings. Most seem on board with having an armed, non-LEO presence in our schools. Anyway, here's one comment I found interesting, posted by one sonnenfe@enetis.net:

    "I have trained officers for nearly 30 years and I know few who can handle their firearm with the skill that many dedicated non-law enforcement persons can. If you fire thousands of rounds per year, good on you, but few officers do more than the minimum. By the way, they are not "civilians", they are citizens just like you unless you are in the military.

    "Regarding fears of "psychological instability" endemic in anyone who is not L.E., don't break your arm patting yourself on the back. I've run into more than a few officers who are certifiable."

    1. I'm guessing most officers only do the minimum because a) they have a partner to count on or can/automatically call for backup, whereas the individual citizen has no such luxury, and b) being a cop is as much, if not mostly, to do with piking toward 'retirement' as answering a call to protect and serve.

      1. They do the minimum because they're government employees.

        1. ^^This. It's sheer laziness.

        2. I'd like to sharpen the point on that comment just a tad... They do the minimum because they're unionized government employees.

          The Fraternal Order of Police is an outright mafia org and it is the nation's most ardent defender of atrocity and insanity within the worker ranks.

      2. they have a partner to count on

        Blind leading the deaf.

    2. I'm thinking you had to traipse through a lot of shit before you found that gem.

      1. I'm thinking you had to traipse through a lot of shit before you found that gem.

        Oh, they're definitely the authoritarian thugs we know them to be, but the support for CCW in general seems overwhelming among their commentariat.

        Their editor-in-chief wrote an article advocating armed, trained teachers. If nothing else, this is a good talking point if you're debating a friend or family member who's been conditioned to believe that guns in the hands of non-costumed people are a dangerous folly.

        1. Most cops I know admit they're basically just clean up crew anyway.

          1. Most cops I know admit they're basically just clean up crew anyway.

            Yet society attempts to condition its members to wait for help from that cleanup crew rather than defend themselves.

            Is this some sort of evolutionary selection pressure? "Let's tell people to do things that are contrary to their survival, then the ones that survive won't be idiots."

  12. If only all those good cops had known about this; they would never have allowed it to continue.

  13. were driving down the George Bush Turnpike

    Is that anything like riding the Hershey Highway?


    1. it's a toll ROADZ. according to Liz Warren logic, a place where a factory could operate tax free.

  14. If Tulpa had his way, robots would be molesting everyone of you right now.

    1. No need to put up a strawman. They would only be molesting us on public streets.

      1. Fair point. Only molesting you when you left the house and dared walked on the private property of The Government.

        1. And it wouldn't violate any of your rights, either. I mean, can you name which right it would violate?

      2. I find the thought of being molested by a strawman more unsettling than by the real thing.

        1. "Uh... could you use even a little lube?"

          1. They called in the TWAT team.

    2. Is this a hoax? I don't know. But it just might be real.


      1. It should be real. Sort of compliments my idea of a candygram junkpunch business.

  15. Wait is this systemic with the War on Women or War on Drugs?

    1. All fall under the greater War on Civilians.

  16. Thanks. I was going to link this to HampersandR today, Rachel Moran - whoever you are.

    1. You wouldn't have been the first.

      1. Thanks, sarcasmic - whoever you are.

  17. This gives a whole new meaning to "George Bush Turnpike".

  18. Could someone explain to me why these two pigs should not be individually subject to both criminal and civil prosecution?

    Because I seriously, honestly, find it unfathomable.

  19. " inside each woman's genital areas "

    OK. Why does everyone say "vagina" when they mean "genital area", but then say "genital area" when they obviously mean "Vagina"?

    Also, what everyone else said. Sick fucks.

    1. the "gential area" phrasing is necessary for the passive voice usage.

      1. From the post: "Helleson used her fingers" -- no passive voice there

        Anyway, I'm sure she didn't just stick her finger in their vaginas and not touch anywhere else, so I don't see why "genital area" isn't totally appropriate here.

        1. you should know better than to assume I read any posted links. or even the article these comments are attached to.

          Headline was read, gist was apprehended, nothing else happened.

        2. The "inside" part is what got me going, as the vagina is the part that has an inside.

          Anyway, stupid argument. The important thing is these people are fucking sick and vindictive. And why is this not a criminal case.

        3. I pretty sure a standard cavity search involves parting the labia majora and minora to check for material hidden in the cleft.

          1. I pretty sure a standard cavity search involves parting the labia majora and minora to check for material hidden in the cleft.

            For those crafty bitches who can hold a crackrock with their lips.

  20. Outrageous, We must be grateful that the government is keeping us safe from all danger.

  21. fap fap fap

  22. I usually hate lawsuits, but I hope they win this and I hope they throw that cop in jail, or at least fire her...

  23. Get yourself on one youtube video being a scumbag and you have a bad rep. Get yourself on two and you have your own reality show.
    Coming soon to FOX, David Farrell in "Redneck Games: On Patrol".

  24. I understand even a regular old, bolt-action deer rifle will punch right through those vests.

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