The Widdershins

DEEP IN THE HEARRRT OF TEXAS!

Posted on: August 19, 2013

You would be surprised *how* deep they wanna go

You would be surprised *how* deep they wanna go

There are photos below that may not be safe for work

If you thought the Texas idea of basically banning abortion was bad, you haven’t heard what else they like to do to women in Texas and I’m surprised that Wendy Davis has not been on this like gravy on rice.  Ladies, all I can say is if you find yourself driving in the gret state of Texas, do not exceed the speed limit, do not throw a cigarette butt out the window or any other type of littering.   Because if you do, you may find yourself at the other end of a full body search courtesy of officers with the Texas Dept. of Public Safety, i.e. the state troopers.

It appears that this is a common practice with the state troopers.  According to this article, it seems to happen on a regular basis.

The searches are performed in full view of other drivers on the highway, include penetration of the vagina and anus, and the officer performing the search does not always change gloves when searching more than one woman, according to a lawsuit.

Police car dash cam videos posted to YouTube show both black and white women being assaulted by the female officers, who are not always the officer initially involved in the traffic stop — forcing the accused to wait until a woman officer arrives. Texas state police say these searches are not regular procedure — nor should they be, as they are almost certainly unconstitutional.

An article in the NY Daily News states that:

the searches “appear to illustrate a pattern, rather than isolated incidents,” in a report that of a “recently settled a federal suit filed against the Department of Public Safety on behalf of clients Angel and Ashley Dobbs, the aunt and niece who were cavity-searched in the first dash cam video to go viral.”

I was certainly glad to read the underlined words above:  federal lawsuit and settled.  I hope it cost the gret state an arm and a leg!  I’m gong to add in a couple of photos below that appear to be snaps captured from a dash cam from the police car although I’m not entirely certain of that, but you’ll see what these women had to endure.

texas-boob-search

texas-boob-search

But, oh the pictures get better and I’ll advise they may not be safe for work as I noted above.

cavity search

cavity search

and yet another one of those:

cavity search different person

cavity search different person

Evidently this is standard performance for theses cops.  And what’s even more outrageous is, according to the Daily News, “In both invasive incidents, the female troopers don’t change gloves between probes, according to the horrified victims.”

Now not everyone in Texas is bat-shit crazy it seems.  There’s one attorney and former law enforcement professional in Dallas who seems to know what is allowed and what isn’t.

But lawyers and civil rights advocates tell the Daily News these cavity searches are really standard policy among the Texas Department of Public Safety’s state troopers, despite their illegality — not to mention that they were conducted on the side of the road in full view of passing motorists.

“It’s ridiculous,” said Dallas attorney Peter Schulte, a former Texas cop and prosecutor. “We would never put our hands anywhere near someone’s private parts,” he said of his time as a police officer in the city of McKinney. “When I saw that video I was shocked. I was a law enforcement officer for 16 years and I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw, who oversees state troopers, denied an interview request from The News. In an earlier statements about the videotaped traffic stops, McCraw said his department “does not and will not tolerate any conduct that violates the U.S. and Texas constitutions, or DPS training or policy.”

Well Mr. McCraw, someone sure is tolerating these unconstitutional searches are they not?  Jim Harrington of the Texas Civil Rights Project thinks the idea that this is okay has to be coming from somewhere in “management”.  “The fact that they both happened means there is some sort of (department) policy advocating their use at traffic stops”.

There were other cases of “cavity searches” in two other states, but neither approached what’s been done in Texas.

Here’s what attorney Scott Palmer had to say about it.  Palmer is the attorney who filed and settled a lawsuit on behalf of Angel and Ashley Dobbs:

“The odds of two female troopers conducting the same kind of search within six weeks of each other? Come on,” attorney Scott Palmer told The News.

Trooper David Farrell pulled Angel and her niece Ashley over purportedly because he saw them litter, throwing something out of the window.   Then the trooper had a number of questions for them: Where were they going? Who were they going to see? Why were they going? Why was her niece with her?  Trooper Farrell said he smelled the odor of pot but the women denied having any.  Then he took their i.d’s and went back to this car.  When he came back he told the two women to stand in a field by the roadside because he had called for a female officer to search them.  Then:

“Do you have anything in your socks? In your shoes? In your underwear?” Dobbs said she was asked. Then trooper Kelley Helleson showed up.

At this point Dobbs started protesting, saying the situation was ridiculous and that she had no drugs and had done nothing wrong. The female officer told her to “shut up and turn around,” Dobbs said.

She did as she was told. Then the trooper’s gloved hand went down her sweat pants in the back and in the front.

An attorney for the trooper said there was no penetration when the search was done, but Ms Dobbs disagrees:

“She knows there was penetration. On both sides. Along the side of the road. She knows what she did.”

The dash cam video shows the aunt and niece alternately standing in front of Farrell’s patrol car, holding their arms out while Helleson pats their breasts and puts her hand down the front and back of their pants.

“They didn’t even search my socks or my shoes,” Dobbs said. “I just couldn’t fathom how you could search someone’s butt and their vagina, and not search their socks or shoes.”

And now here’s the kicker to this:   after Dobbs passed a field sobriety test, she was given a written warning for littering and told she could go.

She went alright.  She went to the State Troopers and filed a complaint against the officers.  It only took the Dept. of Corrections two months to follow up with Ms. Dobbs.  After that she got a lawyer.  The case was heard by a Dallas County grand jury and Trooper Helleson, the female trooper was later charged with two counts of sexual assault and was terminated.  Trooper Farrell was indicted on a charge of theft because a bottle of Vicodin was missing from the aunt’s purse and was suspended pending an investigation.

That’s just one case.  There was a similar case in Houston involving two women coming back from the beach on the Gulf Coast.  Again they were pulled over and the officer again has the “suspicion” of smelling marijuana.  He asks if they have any drugs and the women say no and he asks whether they have any in their bras or panties and the trooper is told no.  He then calls for a female trooper to conduct a search.  The female trooper arrives, asks for gloves and then bends the woman over the passenger seat and “probes” her.

There is more to the article and I urge you to go read the New York Daily News piece for the full story.  Below is a youtube of the dash camera from the search of the second set of women in Brazoria county Texas along the Gulf coast.  As of the writing of the News piece, Texas Rangers reviewed the case and  recommended that it be taken before a county grand jury.  Let us hope so and hope that heads roll and that checks (big ones!) are made out to these two women.

Here is a link to the video of the search of Angel and Ashley Dobbs, which I thought was just a bit too graphic to put up here on the blog but you can see it at the link.

This is an open thread.

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23 Responses to "DEEP IN THE HEARRRT OF TEXAS!"

I am speechless. Despite what the Rangers may say, the fact that this has taken place in more than one county suggests that it must be known at some higher level, Where is Gloria Allred?

Oh dear! This is beyond the pale. And obviously it is not an isolated incident or a couple of rogue cops. These are, if not orders, then certainly “encouragements” coming from the top. Of course we know nobody at the top will ever be punished.

And yes, I am surprised Gloria Allred has not yet taken on this case.

Despite the protestations of the Rangers there was some type of “instruction” being passed around to these cops either by word of mouth or something. In both of these cases the cops pulled the cars over and after they talked to the drivers made a reference to smelling pot and used that excuse for a more “detailed” inspection. And let’s face it: Texas is hardly a bastion of liberalism and if two different grand juries in two different jurisdictions (along with the prosecutors) chose to indict the cops it’s pretty bad.

I’m surprised (or am I really) that i didn’t hear anything on the national news about this.

Hey D!!! {waves} good to see you again!

There is no exigency here — not by throwing something out the window or the alleged order of pot.

If the truth ever comes out here, this is a wink and nod policy that will be traced to some misogynistic freewheeling administrator bitterly promoted from the ranks.

Hey Fredster!

It’s true, the “I smell pot” line feels too random to be…well, random!

Prolix@5: said: this is a wink and nod policy

Exactly!

DYB@6: That’s become a very common excuse for them to use to search a vehicle after having pulled someone over. One hopes that if more of these stops and body searches come out that more of the women will file federal suits and cost the dept. major bucks!

Fredster — Chat — are you having problems getting into wordpress today?

@9: It seems to be sputtering at times.

Prolix: Well it knocked me out of it one time and I had to sign back in. Otherwise no problems. What’s happening with you?

When i went to wordpress.com, I had trouble loading the page so i closed it and then went back and it finally loaded.

wordpress.com when I try and logon, tells me the page is no longer available.

I’ve been trying for the past couple of hours to no success.

I’ve tried under prolix, prolixous and my e-mail address and they all say, “Web page not available.”

This is horrific. I know there’s some kind of “probable cause” exception for vehicles re the 4th amendment, but isn’t this a violation of that? I wish they hadn’t settled the case. Something like this needs to go high up the court chain. Maybe they could file with the DOJ? Not sure, am no legal scholar. I don’t think I’ll be going back to Texas. FGS, I thought the cops here were bad. I smell pot? Give me a break.

Prolix are you going to http://www.wordpress.com? Does it show you already logged in or do you have the two blocks on the left side with email/username and password.

Socal@14: Probably what happened was that the women filed their complaints/suits with the state and so the cases were settled at that level. What someone should should have done was to file the complaint with D.o.J. although one quote I had said a federal suit was settled.

I smell pot? Give me a break.

I know! 🙄 However, that’s what the cops were probably told to say and use as the basis for a more “involved” search.

If you drive through Texas with a California Tag Law enforcement is going to pull you over because they assume you have a “California Medical Marijuana Use Card” and have pot my friend was pulled over 3 times and harassed about having pot in his car. With Colorado now Pot Legal I am sure they and Washington Plated Cars will be harassed too.

Fuzzy@17: Gawd how ridiculous!

Got this in an email:

MSNBC just announced that Ed Schultz is coming back to weekdays with his show at 5pm Eastern.

Wish they’d given him his old slot.

Our rights are slipping away before our eyes.

socal@20: That’s why folks have to yell and raise hell when something like this happens.

Oh my god, someone thinks they may possibly smell pot and so then they can probe a person! Bloody hell.

girlseule: thanks for coming by! Yes, it appears they can do that in Texas!

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