Anal Probes at a Traffic Stop: Why the War on Drugs Must End

Home » BLOGS » Liberator Online Archives » Anal Probes at a Traffic Stop: Why the War on Drugs Must End

(From the Intellectual Ammunition section in Volume 18, No. 22 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!)

“David Eckert was pulling out of a Walmart parking lot when police officers pulled him over for failing to stop at a parking lot stop sign. Police ordered Eckert to step out of his vehicle, and that’s when he committed the highly suspicious act of ‘clenching his buttocks.’ The officers’ natural reaction? This man must be hiding narcotics in his anal cavity.”

So reports Alison Frankel of the ACLU’s Criminal Law Reform Project. She continues:

“Being pulled over for a minor traffic violation is never a pleasant experience, but these Deming, New Mexico police officers took it to an atrocious new level, forcing Mr. Eckert to undergo a colonoscopy, anal probes, and defecation in a search for drugs.

“Yes, you read that correctly: the War on Drugs is being waged on minor traffic violators with enemas and sedatives.

“After pulling Mr. Eckert over, officers obtained a search warrant for an anal cavity search and drove Eckert to a Deming hospital. In the one act of sanity in this insane saga, doctors at that hospital refused to conduct the search, saying it would be unethical.

“Undeterred by such ethical concerns, police then took Eckert to Gila Regional Medical Center…”

Reporter Chris Ramirez of New Mexico’s KOB Eyewitness News 4 sums up, in this numbered list, what happened to Eckert next:

  1. Eckert’s abdominal area was x-rayed; no narcotics were found.
  2. Doctors then performed an exam of Eckert’s anus with their fingers; no narcotics were found.
  3. Doctors performed a second exam of Eckert’s anus with their fingers; no narcotics were found.
  4. Doctors penetrated Eckert’s anus to insert an enema. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.
  5. Doctors penetrated Eckert’s anus to insert an enema a second time. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.
  6. Doctors penetrated Eckert’s anus to insert an enema a third time. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of  doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.
  7. Doctors then x-rayed Eckert again; no narcotics were found.
  8. Doctors prepared Eckert for surgery, sedated him, and then performed a colonoscopy where a scope with a camera was inserted into Eckert’s anus, rectum, colon, and large intestines. No narcotics were found.

Throughout this ordeal, Eckert protested and never gave doctors at the Gila          Regional Medical Center consent to perform any of these medical                          procedures…

         No drugs were ever found.

And get this: Mr. Eckert is now receiving… bills from the Gila medical center. Yes, the medical center is demanding he pay thousands of dollars for the torture he underwent there.

The ACLU is defending Mr. Eckert in a lawsuit against the City of Deming, its police officers, and the medical center.

Incredible though it may seem, these tactics are being used by police elsewhere. The ACLU’s Frankel also mentions that “In two separate incidents in Texas this August, police officers probed the genitals and anal regions of four women suspected of possessing marijuana during routine traffic stops. No drugs were found during the cavity searches.”

Drug law reform, anyone?

in Liberator Online Archives by James W. Harris Comments are off
About the author: James W. Harris

James W. Harris is the editor of the Liberator Online. His articles have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, and he has been a Finalist for the Mencken Awards, given by the Free Press Association for "Outstanding Journalism in Support of Liberty."