Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Oh, hell yes!

Remember this charming incident? Happily, the powers that be in Texas have decided that conducting utterly unjustified, totally visible to all cars on the highway, criminally invasive (as in would-be-called-rape-if-I-did-it) cavity searches is a fireable offense for a highway patrol officer. Huzzah!

They had to fire this officer. There could not have been any recourse short of that. (Although I wouldn't object if someone took me seriously on the digital penetration of the female sex organ angle.) The powers that be had no choice but to send the message to all their officers that this conduct is unacceptable. Except calling it merely unacceptable puts it in the category of sending off-color emails at work or letting a date drive your patrol car. Roadside, warrantless cavity searches need a whole different category. (Like criminal?)

No word yet on the other officer involved, the male officer who initiated the stop. He didn't conduct the actual search, but he sure didn't stop it, which is often enough held against my clients to make them as liable as the actual perpetrator. The articles indicate that the male officer called the female officer to conduct a search. Now, I guess he could have intended something less invasive, but surely he didn't call a female officer just to do a pat-down. He must have had something in mind. I think he should probably get the boot, too.

I don't relish the idea of people losing their jobs. It would be financially devastating for most people. If it's a job you love, it would be very difficult to be fired in such a way that it could very likely be career-ending. (I can't imagine it will be easy for this woman to get another law enforcement job with this on her record.) So, I get that it's a big thing and must really suck for her. But it was absolutely deserved and I do relish seeing anyone involved in law enforcement, whether cops or prosecutors, being held accountable for such gross misconduct. Turning a blind eye or just issuing a slap on the wrist would have been unacceptable. No, it would have been worse.

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