NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Just last week the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) settled a lawsuit with two women from Irving who filed a lawsuit claiming they were humiliated and the victims of an illegal “cavity search”. Now DPS is under fire again, this time for a roadside cavity search in Brazoria County, south of Houston.
The women who recently settled their suit were pulled over at night last July, along an exit ramp of the Bush Turnpike in Irving.
***WARNING – GRAPHIC NORTH TEXAS DASH CAM VIDEO***
The DPS cavity search now in questioned happened on Memorial Day 2012, in broad daylight on the side of Highway 288 and was again captured on dashcam video.
Trooper Nathaniel Turner, who is male, said he stopped the driver for speeding and subsequently smelled marijuana in the car.
When Nathaniel Turner, the male trooper who stopped the women, calls for a female trooper he said over the radio, “One of them has got her zipper open on her pants, or her daisy duke shorts — whatever they are.”
Allie Booker, the lawyer representing the women, confirmed that one of her clients is facing a possession of marijuana charge after Trooper Turner reportedly found a small amount of marijuana in the vehicle. But since the alleged marijuana was found during the initial part of the traffic stop, Booker questions why a cavity search was necessary.
“Then why are you continuously going into their cavities and continuously searching? What are you looking for?” Booker asked. “And then, he never did a pat search, he only did a cavity search.”
The trooper found nothing during either of he cavity searches.
When female Trooper Jennie Bui arrived Booker says she performed the cavity search in a very unclean and unhealthy manner. “It doesn’t even look like a sanitary medical glove. [It] looks like a leather glove from out of their trunks or something. I don’t know what work they did before they utilized that on my clients, but I guarantee you its no medical glove.”
Trooper Bui was fired. Trooper Turner is on suspension, pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
In a statement, DPS Director Steven McCraw said the department does not and will not tolerate such conduct.
The lawsuit against DPS claims the women’s constitutional rights were violated because of the unlawful search. Booker contends that is definitely the case, but said there’s more at stake. “We want justice. We want these cops off of the street. We want women to be able to drive safely and we want for no women to be sexually assaulted by police officers, on the side of the road, ever again.”
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