Jacob Sullum in Forbes on the Legality of Exploring Drivers' Digestive Tracts



How is it possible that a motorist pulled over for a rolling stop could end up being forcibly subjected to two X-rays, two digital probes of his anus, three enemas, and a colonoscopy, none of which discovered the slightest trace of the drugs that police claim to have thought he was hiding inside himself? That is the question raised by a federal lawsuit that received wide attention last week after it was highlighted by KOB, the NBC affiliate in Albuquerque. The answer, Jacob Sullum writes in Forbes, says a lot about the outrageous indignities we have come to tolerate in the name of the war on drugs, which has undermined our civil liberties to the point that what happened to David Eckert after he was stopped in Deming, New Mexico, seemed perfectly justified to the cops who detained him, the prosecutor who approved their application for a search warrant, the judge who granted it, and the doctors who helped execute it.

Read the whole article.


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  1. Mistakes were made, rectums were penetrated.

    1. Rectum?
      It practically killed him!

  2. Eckert argues that LEO is unreliable, since he was not recertified when he should have been and has alerted at least three times to vehicles in which no drugs were found, including the January 2 stop and a 2012 stop in which Eckert was pulled over for a cracked windshield.

    Am I reading this correctly? The same dog had a false positive alert on the same truck previously?

    1. The dog’s name is LEO (all caps)? How cute.

      1. Police dogs are not even dogs to me anymore. And I don’t like dogs, but I can respect them. Except for police dogs.

        1. They’re abominations.

          1. They’re abominations.

            You should see the bullshit on some gun discussion boards when a police dog is killed. They act like the dog is the equivalent of a human being. So yes, to cops and their fanbois cop dogs are abominations.

            Notably the same handwringing and histrionics aren’t shared when a cop kills a family pet when conducting what should have been a “normal contact.” Of course it’s because, “Well, it’s different.”

            I feel bad for police dogs, they know not the nature of their masters, they aren’t moral agents.

  3. Timely, seeing as how I’m headed to the hospital for a colonoscopy in about an hour. Almost 52 – figured I couldn’t put it off any more.

    Hope they don’t find the treasure I hid after watching that South Park episode…. #secrets

    1. You really shouldn’t put it off. Colon cancer usually responds well to treatment if found early. Also the prep is the worse part. With a good anesthetist the procedure is a breeze.

      1. “prep”…so much said in so few characters…

    2. I’m 30. I had this procedure done because of a nasty family history of internal bleeding.

      Never again.

      I did it voluntarily. What they did to this man equals torture in my mind.

  4. The sad thing about this is that the most illegal thing they did under current case law was sending him the bill afterward. The rest of this was just A-OK.

    1. Wouldn’t executing the warrant outside its jurisdiction be more illegal?

      1. It would result in the evidence being tossed in a criminal proceeding. But they didn’t find anything and he wasn’t charged.

        1. Really? So it wouldn’t invalidate right to give repeated ass spelunkings? If you charge into a house outside of a warrants jurisdiction and find nothing that’s still has to be illegal.

          1. Violations of the 4A are definitely illegal, but there are just no consequences for making these kinds of “mistakes”. You’d be lucky to even get an apology.

          2. It may be illegal, but that doesn’t mean a DA will charge anyone with anything.

      2. I believe the time limit on the warrant had expired as well.

  5. Tar and feathers. Every single one of them.

    1. I would also be okay with it if they were rubbed with the shit that they “forcibly extracted”.

    2. Before or after the anal probes, enemas, and colonoscopies?

    3. The Boats!


      This is exactly what those rotten pigs deserve.

      1. I pity the insects.

      2. Holy shit, that is horrible!

      3. Weird, I was just thinking of scaphism last night when HM posted a picture of someone being sliced.

    4. This isn’t going to happen. No one is going to get fired. No one, except an insurance company, is going to pay anything. And the worst case scenario is that men in black will consecrate this behavior as precedent.

      LIke mentioned in the article, the spineless cocksuckers in the black dresses have crafted the law over the years such that this incident of repeated torture and rape is will withing the purview of the law. And if not, may set a precedent to allow it.

      1. Just curious, which do you think most would prefer, what happened to this guy, or water boarding? I’m going with option 2.

        1. waterboarding. No one touches my ass unless they take me out to dinner and some good weed.

  6. How is it possible that a motorist pulled over for a rolling stop could end up being forcibly subjected to two X-rays, two digital probes of his anus, three enemas, and a colonoscopy, none of which discovered the slightest trace of the drugs that police claim to have thought he was hiding inside himself?


    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


  7. That we’re even discussing the legality of this shows how far gone this country is.

  8. There are now reports that two other of our countrymen have been subjected to rape and similar conspiracies to rape innocent citizens by Deming police.

    I haven’t yet seen any report on the JUDGE who signed these search warrants. One colossal abuse like this would be understandable. Three are inexcusable.

    The JUDGE, as well as all others involved in these rapes and conspiracies to commit rape of innocent citizens, who warranted “search by anal rape” should be named and shamed even if he cannot be prosecuted.

    1. “Search By Anal Rape” is the name of Warty’s latest album.


    2. One colossal abuse like this would be understandable.

      No, it wouldn’t.

      I don’t see how you even do this ONCE.
      I could understand (maybe) a cavity search by a medical professional. That’s it.

      Forcibly putting a person under anesthesia is assault.

  9. There should be criminal charges against the cops and the doctors and staff involved in this.

    This should not just be a civil suit.

    1. If I was the victim, you can bet I’d be going after everyone’s license – doctors, nurses, and hospital.

      1. Vee ver just following orders.

      2. If I was the state government, I would be convening a grand jury, with the hope of getting some indictments for assault, rape, and torture.

        1. If you were the state government, you’d be looking for a way to put the rape victim behind bars before he could say any more evil, untrue things about your heroes in blue.

          The police don’t do things like this. Clearly, he volunteered. Remember, it’s not rape if the government does it.

  10. I’m thinking there’s more to the story. Like a bit of Contempt of Cop or Pissing off the Police.

    1. He’s alleging in the lawsuit that it was payback for not showing enough deference during his previous stop.

      1. If he can convince a jury of this, he’s going to get millions.

        1. Do cops ever go after jurors who embarrass them?

        2. From the suitsuit

          Plaintiff asked Defendant Rodriquez if he was free to leave, which Defendant Rodriquez contends that he found rude.
          25. Defendant Rodriquez told Plaintiff he suspected Plaintiff of having illegal drugs in his car and proceeded to interrogate Plaintiff on the matter.
          26. Plaintiff refused to engage in Defendant Rodriquez’s “conversation.”
          27. Defendant Rodriquez then seized Plaintiff’s vehicle without probable cause.
          28. After Defendant Rodriquez seized Plaintiff’s vehicle, Defendant Rodriquez contacted Defendant Green.
          29. Defendant Green deployed his canine “LEO,” who, Defendant Green alleges, alerted to the presence of narcotics around Plaintiff’s vehicle.
          30. A warrant for the search of Plaintiff’s vehicle
          was issued on September 7, 2012. Defendant Rodriguez searched Plaintiff’s car.

          1. Yup. That’s contempt of cop. The first officer had already told him he was free to leave after the written warning for the cracked windshield.

        3. He’s going to get millions regardless. One anal probing and x-ray? Maybe. Multiple AND a colonoscopy plus out of jurisdiction AND an expired warrant? This is a winning lottery ticket. You can bet I’ll be clenching my butt cheeks the next time I’m pulled over.

          Too bad they won’t hold the cop liable and make him work it off for the next 40 years.

  11. and the doctors who helped execute it.

    Primum non nocere in nomine civitatis

  12. Anal probings have been the law of the land since the ratification of the 16th amendment. I can’t fathom why everyone’s getting butthurt about it now.

  13. Normally, when I read these kinds of stories, I figure that the person suing is being a bit sensational and making up at least part of the story up to get more money in a civil suit.
    Not this one. The entire process was meticulously documented by the hospital and the officer, and none of the facts are in dispute. It’s un-fucking-believable.

    There is a good guy in this story, though: The doctor at the first hospital who refused to conduct the search.

    1. There is a good guy in this story, though: The doctor at the first hospital who refused to conduct the search.

      I’m sure he’ll be facing retribution the next time he gets pulled over.

    2. “Normally, when I read these kinds of stories, I figure that the person suing is being a bit sensational and making up at least part of the story up to get more money in a civil suit.”

      With the rampant police abuse and torture in this country, this viewpoint is no longer tenable, and you should really reconsider it.

    3. Normally, when I read a police report, I figure that the officer is being a bit sensational and making up at least part of the story up to get a conviction or force a plea deal.

    4. The doctor at the first hospital who refused to conduct the search.

      I have always instructed our hospital staff that under no circumstances are they to assist in any kind of a search (including a blood draw for BAC) unless and until the person being searched gives written consent.

      I’ve been amused by the butthurt exhibited by cops and even a DA over this policy. One cop even threatened to cite us for obstruction of justice. I pointed out to him that the law he was pointing to (on “deemed” consent for BAC draws) merely overrode the patient’s legal objections, and did not constitute an order to any random health care provider to start punching holes in the person’s arm.

      When the DA called, waving some form that the state AG had put together, I told him that the form was crap because it was written as if the cops had the authority to order any random health care provider, etc.

      I told him if he was going to arrest anyone for obstruction, it should be me, not our nurses, and let him know I would be available for arrest at my office at his convenience.

      Incredibly, nothing else happened.

      1. You, Mr Dean, are my new hero!

        1. Well, they’re bullies, and bullies back down when challenged.

          They may have thought they could bully our ER nurses (although, if so, there were some unpleasant surprises in their future), but they seem to have gotten the message that I was willing, nay, eager, to scrape a knuckle on them if they came into my house and abused my people.

          1. They can hire their own thugs to perform their intrusions.

            Just out of curiosity, who pays (or is supposed to) when they bring someone in for a BAC? One would assume the hospital charges the police department for their services.

            1. One would assume the hospital charges the police department for their services.

              You’re a funny guy, Frank.

              I think we just ate the charges on those. No way the cops are going to pay, and we wouldn’t bill the “patient”.

      2. Glad to hear it. They “force blood” all the time around here.

        1. Just so they do it with own goons, and don’t draft hospital staff for it.

          They wound up contracting with a couple phlebotomists to moonlight for BAC draws.

  14. Since this is at Forbes, I presume Rick Ungar will post a thorough debunking of our paranoid teathuglitard anarchism, and explain why iron-fisted authoritarianism is what truly makes us free.

  15. If there were outside their jurisdiction, and not in hot pursuit, they lose their LEO status, right? So a bunch of costumed thugs with a worthless piece of paper. Of course, I don’t expect a prosecutor to take notice of that given the current reality.

    However, I would imagine that would expose the doctors to some pretty serious lawsuits. Hopefully a seven-figure judgement and permanent surrender of medical license would cause other doctors to take notice.

    1. The concept of jurisdiction has been almost eradicated. So many laws have been passed giving LEOs powers outside their technical jurisdictions, combined with “professional courtesy”, that basically if you’re a cop anywhere, you at the very least can carry a gun. But it’s no longer the case where when Andy leaves Mayberry, he has absolutely no powers at all. Many states have laws that LEOs are state “deputies”–even when they are merely town or county cops–if they see a felony being committed, and can intervene and arrest. Or laws that all off duty cops have to carry and arrest if they see a crime. Stuff like that has made the big white line the Duke brothers would cross to get out of Hazard County and away from the jurisdiction of Roscoe P. Coltraine a joke.

      1. IOW, the cops are now armsmen for the nobility, with powers based on their status, not on their employment.

    2. Don’t know about other states, but CA gives any cop powers of arrest statewide regardless of the entity that employs them. They also give powers of arrest to Oregon, Nevada, & Arizona police up to 50 miles inside CA’s borders.

  16. I hate to tell you guys, but I seriously doubt the town or police department has an insurance policy that will pay our more than a few hundred thousand for this.

    And, as others noted above, violations of A4 are perfectly okay in cases like this, becuase the only consequence is exclusion of evidence and here there obviously won’t be a trial from which to exclude evidence. The saying about how you can beat the wrap is spot on here.

  17. The concept of jurisdiction has been almost eradicated.

    Inter-Agency Task Force, FTW!

  18. Symptom of the “get the perp at all cost” mentality of our out-of-control militarized law enforcement. Law enforcement lacks incentives to operate with reason over absolute and brutal enforcement without exception.

  19. What’s up everybody, I know YouTube video includes fewer bytes of memory due to that its quality is bad, however this YouTube video has impressive picture quality.


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