Fourth Amendment

Judge Orders Doctors To Pump Prisoner's Stomach, Doctors Tell Judge To Piss Off


Reason 24/7

A warrant is supposed to be the last word in gathering evidence in criminal cases, right? The court speaketh and we jumpeth. But what if the warrant requires evidence to be gathered in a way that necessitates the skills of trained professionals? And what if those conscripted professionals find the ordered procedures unethical and abhorrent? And then they…refuse?

From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

Milwaukee police officers who were chasing Terrance Fleetwood last winter were sure they saw him swallow a bag of suspected cocaine.

So sure, they persuaded a judge to sign a search warrant to perform a surgical procedure on Fleetwood to retrieve the suspected contraband by sucking it from his stomach up through his nose.

The case came to light this month when the search warrant was finally filed.

Fleetwood's attorney, Bridget Boyle, said it was the first and only time she's ever seen police seek, and get, a warrant to have something as serious as nasogastric aspiration done to get evidence from a suspect.

"Thankfully, the doctors refused to do it," Boyle said recently.

Instead of examining the pumped contents of Fleetwood's stomach, police had to content themselves with staking out his hospital bed at the Aurora Sinai Medical Center for five days, to no avail. Ultimately, Fleetwood pled guilty to two counts of obstructing justice, and was sentenced to 18 months, with credit for 118 days.

The subject of compelling suspects to provide body fluids or stomach contents has received plenty of attention from a Fourth Amendment perspective, but conscripting medical personnel to do the honors is relatively untested territory. Many medical facilities, like the Aurora Sinai Medical Center, have policies requiring patient consent before doctors and nurses will start working as police proxies. but that sometimes annoys the authorities.

Marjorie Lachaud-DePalis, an emergency-room nurse at the West Palm Beach Veterans Administration Medical Center, was arrested by sheriff's deputies in June 2009 for abiding by just such a policy. Charges were subsequently dropped, probably because local cops are worried about having a legal boundary placed on their authority. That seems especially likely now that a judge has found a letter from the Palm Beach State Attorney's Office authorizing the compulsion of medical personnel to be "woefully inadequate." Lachaud-DePalis is suing the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Department for lost wages, compensation for pain and suffering and punitive damages for civil rights violations.

Fortunately, Milwaukee police didn't try to test the limits of their authority with the doctors in Fleetwood's case.

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  1. See, socialized medicine will fix this. That way, the doctors can be fired for refusing to pump a stomach for evidence. That, and maybe a threat of jail/taser, should get them pumping.

    1. It’s the very definition of a free-market in line with community needs!

    2. What I was going to say. Obamacare will fix this. These deviant doctors best get in line and server their statist masters.

    3. Yep. The ultimate mistake of single-payer.

  2. Has anyone ever experienced what seemed to be just a fucked up day from start to finish, where nothing could possibly go right, and everything could go wrong?

    Today was that day. I got up, after a night of virtually no sleep, with a damn headache, which I rarely have. Then I got to work and I swear, anything that could went possibly gone wrong, went wrong.

    So then I left work, and I swear, I came like a nano-second from running over a cop. The stupid SOB walked right out in front of me from behind a parked van. Traffic was heavy and had stopped. Then just as it started moving and I started moving, I see this dark figure appear from out of my left peripheral vision. I must have stopped like one inch from the guy. He just glanced at me and kept walking. But if I had been looking even a fraction of a degree in the other direction, I would have hit him.

    So what’s the best possible scenario if I hit this cop? Probably I get charged with 27 charges, including assaulting an officer with a deadly vehicle. Worst case, and more likely, he shoots me 15 times through my windshield and claims self defense. And nothing else happens.

    1. Sounds like he was jaywalking, so hopefully they would go easy on you.


      2. Yeah, right dude, if I wasn’t shot dead and it was on video, I might have received a break.

    2. So what’s the best possible scenario if I hit this cop? Probably I get charged with 27 charges, including assaulting an officer with a deadly vehicle. Worst case, and more likely, he shoots me 15 times through my windshield and claims self defense. And nothing else happens.

      Best possible scenario: You escape over the border and disappear into the hills, living off the land and occasionally post on H&R to mock law enforcement and swear your undying allegiance to the Kochtopus.

      Most likely scenario: You are arrested, beaten, coerced into giving a confession, and do 20 to life, while guards let the other cons know that it’s open season on the “cop-killer.”

      Second most likely scenario: A hail of gunfire, ending in your death.

      1. Interestingly enough, the closest I’ve ever came to being hit by a vehicle, as a pedestrian, was also in Baltimore, and I was in the crosswalk with the walk light on, and it was cop car following an ambulance that had just went by. I am really a lot more careful about that these days.

        But I am sure if I would have been hit and even killed, it would have been all in the line of duty and nothing else happened.

        1. If you weren’t killed , you could be charged with obstructing justice and damaging a police vehicle.

          Plus sued for psychological trauma on the cop.

  3. I’m surprised the pigs didn’t demand the doctors cut the guy open.

    1. Today: creepy thought
      Next year: movie plot twist (maybe to get a bomb like the joker did)
      Three more years: used by police once, libertarians yell, ignored

      After that, don’t touch your mouth at all when cops are around.

    2. Next time, they’ll have no choice but to shoot the guy open. We’re talking dangerous drugs here. Got to think of the children.

      1. Put a dog on him first. Two birds and all that.

  4. Absent some sort of damage to the mouth, why would they want to pump his stomach through his nose? Other than just being jerks, I mean.

    If the guy did swallow a lot of cocaine and it didn’t emerge intact, it might have injured or killed him. The fact that nothing happened seems to indicate that he didn’t swallow any cocaine, though perhaps it was such a tiny amount that it had no effect. But even then, you’d think the bag would have emerged after five days.

    1. A tube stuck down the throat through the mouth triggers the gag reflex and if you can get past that is also extremely uncomfortable.

      A nasogastric tube is not nearly as uncomfortable.

      1. Not true. I’ve inserted hundreds of NG tubes. Both trigger the gag reflex and the nasal approach is much more uncomfortable than the oral, though much better for other reasons.

    2. I was under the impression that they went through the nose so that the tube couldn’t be bitten through.

  5. lol, big middle finger salute to the kangaroo court!

    1. lol, indeed

  6. So sure, they persuaded a judge to sign a search warrant to perform a surgical procedure on Fleetwood to retrieve the suspected contraband by sucking it from his stomach up through his nose.

    What sort of warrant allows for invasive medical procedures to be done on a person without their consent? What the fuck was this judge thinking about?

    It smells like a violation of the 4th and 8th Amendments.

    1. Slippery slope, dude, slippery slope.

      We’ve been headed in that direction for a long time. We’re just getting to the good parts.

      The 4th amendment is dead.

      1. Why do we need the Fourth Amendment when we have The New Professionalism?

        1. Why do we need the 4th when we have security?

      2. “The 4th amendment is dead”

        Founders’ fault – shouldn’t have put in that word “unreasonable.” Judges today find just about anything “reasonable”
        (except, of course, if it was being done to them.)

    2. Well he shouldn’t have been suspected of doing something.

      1. Sargeant: “That guy’s looking kind of shifty. Officer, go get the flashlight and speculum out of my cruiser.”

        Officer: “Sure thing, Sarge. But what about lube?”

        Sargeant: “He’d better bite the hood. I’m going in dry and warrantless.”

  7. Isn’t it about time for Retarded Marriage to show up?

    1. It was about this time last night, so…

      1. Don’t summon it!

        1. Damnit. Too late.

      2. It’s mommie must only give it a few minutes of internet time each night. Right after the nightly anti-gay indoctrination session, I guess.

        1. And this is what we don’t want people to do no bend over and learn what perversity feels like.

    1. Warty’s is neither simple nor elegant.

    2. Long live the new flesh!

  8. Rare footage of Warty’s family in the wild

    1. Oh gawd, I am scart to clicks that…

      1. It’s not too bad though the anal prongs were disturbing.

        1. Anal? I thought those were for the tear ducts.

  9. Romanian princess among those arrested in Oregon for illegal cockfighting

    A Romanian princess and her husband, a former sheriff’s deputy, are apparently among several people federal agents arrested in Eastern Oregon on Thursday in connection with an alleged cockfighting ring.

    Indictments unsealed in U.S. District Court in Portland charge Irina Walker, 60, and her husband John Wesley Walker, 67, with hosting cockfighting derbies and illegal gambling at their ranch outside the small Morrow County town of Irrigon.

    Federal prosecutors are seeking forfeiture of the ranch, listed in state incorporation records as Stokes Landing Sport Horses. There was no answer to phone calls to the Walker home and the business, and it’s unclear if it is still in operation.

    The Oregonian newspaper identified Irina Walker, also known as Irina Kreuger, as a daughter of the last king of Romania. Personnel records show John Wesley Walker was a Coos County sheriff’s deputy from 1998 to 2003.

    The Walkers and four other people from Irrigon and Hermiston were to be arraigned in federal court in Portland on Friday on charges of operating an illegal gambling business. No lawyer for the Walkers or other defendants was listed as yet in court records.

    The things you got to do to raise money to buy an army to retake your throne.

    1. Forfeiture? Of course.

    2. For the movie, make it so the deputy retired because the bad guy shot his partner and he (deputy) couldn’t stop and felt guilty, etc. Even after retiring, he continues to pursue the elusive bad guy. Then some romantic stuff with the Romanian princess, who is also hiding out from some bad guy from the home country. But they decide to put the past behind them and go into chicken farming. But the bad guy – who is actually a Bulgarian narco-terrorist – has influence on the police force and has the couple arrested for cockfighting, with instructions to have them both shivved in prison. Will our heroes expose the conspiracy and see that justice is done?

      1. PS – if a movie with a plot similar to the above comes out in a few years, they better have paid my royalties.

    3. The sport of kings…and Romanian Pricesses…

      I need to get Rand Paul and Ted Cruz’s official position on federal cockfighting laws.I’d venture it is dead certain one or both have attended a cockfight at some point in their lives

  10. Texas man arrested after claiming to be Michelle Obama’s adopted son and demanding access to her bank account

    A Texas man found himself in jail after reportedly claiming he was first lady Michelle Obama’s adopted son and demanding access to her bank account.
    According to police, Johnnie Fletcher Gooden Jr., 29, entered a Chase Bank in the town of Bryan and demanded access to an account held by Michelle Obama, and refused to leave even after the bank told him no such account existed.
    After police arrived following a call from an employee, investigators say Gooden claimed “Mrs. Obama contacted him through Facebook and adopted him, and he was now trying to get money out of her bank account.”
    A criminal background check found two outstanding warrants for resisting arrest and assaulting a public servant, and police also charged him for possessing marijuana after finding a bag in the suspect’s shorts, according to a spokeswoman for the Bryan Police Department.

    I guess if Obama had a son he wouldn’t look like that.

    1. Ahh Facebook adoptions. Another exciting wrinkle to the Common Law.

    2. I do have a Kenyan prince that is going to get me a massive amount of money once I pay a small fee.

      1. I thought he was from Hawaii.

  11. If only doctors and nurses held up to the high standards of CLOWN ETHICS!

  12. Proposal: henceforth, all warrants are automatically reciprocal amongst all parties: judge, cop, and citizen.

  13. At least there was a warrant. But apparently the judge forgot that a warrant is binding on government agents and the owner of the property to be searched or seized (or the person himself). I suppose at most it strips people of the legal right to interfere with the search, but it certainly cannot compel someone to participate in the search.

    I would think that a stomach pump for a non-medical purpose would violate professional medical ethics, and a physician who performed one would be subject to sanctions if he ignored the ethical aspects and did it anyway. Good for the docs.

    1. *binding only on government agents…

    2. They already compel nurses to take blood in DUI cases here in PA. If a refusal to pump stomachs were to take hold the cops will just start employing their own “nurse or doctor proxies” to pump stomachs. Kind of like the people they pay to perform death penalties by lethal injection.

      So it’s a win-win for big government. They get to create a new government job we have to pay for and they get a willing stooge to do their bidding without adherence to any set of professional ethics.

  14. Why wouldn’t Rochin v. California control here? Is it the warrant? How does the existence of a warrant cause a procedure that would otherwise ‘shock the conscience’ to suddenly not do so?

    1. Why does this procedure “shock the conscience?”

  15. How did no one post this song yet?

    The title of the album refers to an incident in which the Nigerian police tried to arrest Kuti by planting a joint on him. Kuti managed to eat the joint, prompting police to bring him into custody and wait for him to produce the excrement. According to legend he managed to use another inmate’s feces and was eventually released.

    1. It’s a great song. I’m going to dl the album now. Thanks!

  16. The statists will have a simple answer for this problem: police doctors.

    1. Exactly. And they won’t be subject to normal medical ethics – they’ll create their own version. Instead of “first, do no harm” we’ll have “first, do whatever you’re told by your superiour officer.”

    2. Las Vegas Metro PD had some cops with the word “DOCTOR” on the back of their green khakis out on patrol on NYE 2010.

      I remember looking at the guy and thinking, “Yeah right, that fucking asshole is a doctor as much as I am.”

  17. Chief Judge of FISC admits the court is a farce:

    “The FISC is forced to rely upon the accuracy of the information that is provided to the Court,” its chief, U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton, said in a written statement to The Washington Post. “The FISC does not have the capacity to investigate issues of noncompliance, and in that respect the FISC is in the same position as any other court when it comes to enforcing [government] compliance with its orders.”…..story.html

  18. In the Marjorie Lachaud-DePalis case I don’t think there is much room for celebration. The judges ruling that you make reference to was appealed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appels, where they ruled that a nurse refusing to draw blood from a DUI suspect is probable cause for the nurse to be arrested under either Florida Statute ? 843.02 (for obstructing) or ? 843.06 (for failure to assist). The court basically found that 843.06 “require[s] a person to assist an officer in the collection of evidence” when requested. It’s an unpublished opinion so doesn’t carry a whole lot of legal weight but it is informative and kinda troubling.

    ? 843.02 states “[w]hoever shall resist, obstruct, or oppose any officer . . . in the lawful execution of any legal duty, without offering or doing violence to the person of the officer, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.”

    ? 843.06 states “[w]hoever, being required in the name of the state by any officer . . . neglects or refuses to assist him or her in the execution of his or her office in a criminal case . . . shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree.” it also “requires an individual to assist an officer in his official duties of preserving the peace, apprehending or securing a suspect, or assisting in the rescue or preventing the escape of an arrestee”.

    1. I guess involuntary servitude is now the law of the land.

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