4 On Your Side investigates traffic stop nightmare
This 4 On Your Side investigation looks into the actions of police officers and doctors in Southern New Mexico.
A review of medical records, police reports and a federal lawsuit show deputies with the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office, police officers with the City of Deming and medical professionals at the Gila Regional Medical Center made some questionable decisions.
The incident began January 2, 2013 after David Eckert finished shopping at the Wal-Mart in Deming. According to a federal lawsuit, Eckert didn’t make a complete stop at a stop sign coming out of the parking lot and was immediately stopped by law enforcement.
Eckert's attorney, Shannon Kennedy, said in an interview with KOB that after law enforcement asked him to step out of the vehicle, **he appeared to be clenching his buttocks**. Law enforcement thought that was probable cause to suspect that Eckert was hiding narcotics in his anal cavity. While officers detained Eckert, they secured a search warrant from a judge that allowed for an anal cavity search. The lawsuit claims that Deming Police tried taking Eckert to an emergency room in Deming, but a doctor there refused to perform the anal cavity search citing it was "unethical." But physicians at the Gila Regional Medical Center in Silver City agreed to perform the procedure and a few hours later, Eckert was admitted.
I’ll summarise the rest; Eckert was X-rayed twice, subjected to three cavity searches, three enemas and a colonoscopy. No drugs were found. He was billed for all these procedures.
Hooray for the War on Drugs!!
The KOB story leaves out that after witnessing Eckert’s butt-clenching behavior they called in a drug-sniffing dog who indicated drugs on the front seat of the car. So-called drug dogs do not have magical powers. They work as a team with their handlers (police). See the Clever Hans effect.