A New Mexico man has filed a federal lawsuit claiming he was subjected to more than 12 hours of anal probing by police officers and medical professionals after a traffic stop in January.
As KOB-TV reports, police stopped David Eckert on Jan. 2 after he failed to come to a complete stop at a stop sign outside a Walmart parking lot in Deming, N.M. Things began to go wrong when the authorities asked him to exit his vehicle.
“They say when he stepped out of his car he was standing in a manner that looked as if he was clinching his buttocks,” Shannon Kennedy, Eckert’s attorney, told KOB-TV, according to CBS Las Vegas.
This led police to believe Eckert was hiding drugs in his anal cavity. After obtaining a search warrant from a judge allowing for an anal cavity search, cops took Eckert to an emergency room in Deming, but a doctor there refused to perform the search, calling it “unethical,” KOB said.
Eventually, police moved Eckert to Gila Regional Medical Center in Silver City, where doctors agreed to perform the anal cavity search. According to the lawsuit and Eckert’s medical records, which were released to KOB, Eckert’s abdominal area was X-rayed twice, doctors performed a colonoscopy on him, an enema was inserted anally three separate times and doctors examined his anus twice with their fingers.
No drugs were ever found and Eckert never gave his consent for doctors to perform the procedures.
“This is like something out of a science fiction film,” Kennedy told KOB, according to CBS Las Vegas. “Anal probing by government officials and public employees?”
“If the officers in Hidalgo County and the City of Deming are seeking warrants for anal cavity searches based on how they're standing and the warrant allows doctors at the Gila Hospital of Horrors to go in and do enemas and colonoscopies without consent, then anyone can be seized, and that's why the public needs to know about this," Kennedy said.
As a result, Eckert has filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Deming, three Deming police officers, three Hidalgo County deputies and the Gila Regional Medical Center.
KOB 4 reporter Chris Ramirez caught up with Deming Police Chief Brandon Gigante and asked him indirectly about the case.
"As the police chief, what reassurances could you give people when they come through your town that they won't be violated or abused by your police officers?" Ramirez asked Gigante.
"We follow the law in every aspect and we follow policies and protocols that we have in place," Gigante replied.
"Do you think those officers in this particular case did that?" Ramirez asked.
Gigante declined to answer and referred Ramirez to his lawyer.