A Really Intrusive Search. Really, Really Intrusive

Frisks are for kids.  A couple of cops in Minneapolis saw no point in awaiting the legal niceties, or perhaps enjoy their job a bit too much.  They decided to snap on the latex gloves and go for it.  What they didn’t know was that they were actually starring in a porno flick, as they were caught on video.  From the Star Tribune :

Recardo Meeks has the video.

It shows two Minneapolis officers doing a strip and body cavity search on a city street and is now a key piece of evidence in Meeks’ complaint and lawsuit against the city.

Police said he was stopped for speeding and swerving, and officers smelled burning marijuana in his car.

The video shows Meeks leaving his car and getting patted down and then handcuffed. It appears an officer looked inside Meeks’ car. A short time later, an officer pushed Meeks’ head down toward the trunk of the squad car and both officers pulled down Meeks’ pants and underpants. After searching the garments, an officer grabbed latex gloves from the squad’s trunk and removed tissue and a small amount of marijuana from Meeks’ buttocks.

So what if the law only allows a pat down when the cops have a reasonable suspicion that a person is armed.  So what if a strip search is unlawful.  And don’t even ask about search a “body cavity,” which is the polite way to describe anal rape.  If they did nothing, this bad dude would be free to walk, and that would make them look less than in control.  As rape victim advocates remind us, it’s all about control.

Under ordinary circumstances, this would never have happened.  By that I mean, Recardo Meeks would say it happened, but the cops would deny it and everybody would say that Meeks, a criminal, was lying, and the cops, Anderson and O’Connor, are heroes, with medals and commendations to prove it.  Why, as prosecutors love to argue, would the cops lie?

Unfortunately, video doesn’t lie either.

Meeks filed a complaint with the Civilian Review Authority, which referred it to the police department for discipline.  It appears that these two police officers will have a sternly worded letter reminding them of the department’s policy to not stick their fingers up people’s butts in their permanent file (but only for three years, when the statute of limitations for anal rape expires), alongside their medal of valor.

Meeks has sued for the violation of his buttocks.  This goes too far for Minneapolis.  The City denies their cops did anything unconstitutional.  The City offers a three-prong defense:

Two months later, Meeks was found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm and sentenced to five years at St. Cloud prison. Earlier this month, his brother Maurice was killed when a man he argued with intentionally hit him with a car.

Always a strong position, the victim is a bad guy, as shown by something he did later.  The defense is particularly compelling in this case, since his 5 year prison sentence suggests that the two cops will be the most gentle visitors to his backside for a long time to come.

And on the positive side:

“Please keep in mind that officer safety at a scene is a very important consideration,” he said. “We all recall the horrible shootout in August of 2002, where officer Melissa Schmidt was killed in the line of duty by a woman concealing a gun.”

While the nexus between the search of Meek’s anus and the horrible shootout may be somewhat elusive, who would dispute that our police should be safe from . . . what?  Methane?  Unpleasant odors?  It seems that they were pretty open to such harm as soon as they pulled down Meeks pants.  No mention, incidentally, of whether his pants were saggy, though the fact that Meeks wasn’t shot suggests they fit properly.

And finally:

Dolan said his department takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and referred to publicly available policies online that address strip searches.

This is certainly more comforting than if they didn’t take “allegations” seriously.  Or if there wasn’t a video.

H/T Jdog

7 comments on “A Really Intrusive Search. Really, Really Intrusive

  1. lilBra

    WOW… and to think they get paid by taxes. If Cops keep getting away with acts of indecency, whats keeping your children safe? not a cop!

  2. Jdog

    Despite my own familiarity with the depredations of many MPD officers — and the wrist slaps that they usually don’t even get — I was stunned by this one. FWIW.

  3. aelfric

    Well, if you don’t like the road down which the driver is taking you, then stop paying for the gas! In other words(as if I HAVE to explain the obvious), ya get what ya paid for! Why do you keep paying taxes, and keep voting when your interests are not being valued, and then step back and complain about it? By giving the nutcases the bullets , you forfeit the right to complain when you get shot. Take away the gun AND the bullets, or stop complaining. either/or, you cant have it both ways. What’s that? you have no choice??? YOU ALWAYS HAVE A CHOICE. Its what makes us human.

  4. Kitty Antonik Wakfer

    The linked Minneapolis newspaper article prominently displays a photograph of Recardo Meeks, but none of the 2 police officers, Daniel Anderson and David O’Connor, who performed this involuntary anal examination.

    Making full names *and* current photographs publicly available enables others to socially preference for or against these individuals – that is, others can initiate/maintain/increase or withdraw voluntary association depending on their agreement with the actions taken by these individuals. As it is now, only Recardo Meeks can be recognized by anyone anywhere anytime, while the other two are being protected from visual recognition by those who do not already know what they look like. This last may change if the video in Meeks’ complaint and lawsuit against the city is made public.

    This selective (discriminating) association to exclude those who cause harm – and also toward those who support such harm-causing – is a potentially very powerful method of non-violent action, referred to as ostracism and shunning by many down through the ages. It is included in Gene Sharp’s 2nd volume (of 3), “The Politics of Nonviolent Action”, Chapter 4, “The Methods of Social Noncooperation”. I and husband Paul Wakfer use the term “negative Social Preferencing” for purposeful non-voluntary association (contrasted with positive Social Preferencing towards those who do provide value) and have described how it is the ultimate effector of social order in a truly free society (The Freeman Society). [Edit. Note: Link to commenters website deleted as per rules.] 

    In order that positive and negative social preferencing can be wide spread and therefore be highly instrumental in persuading the changing of behavior, publication of current photos of the individuals involved is essential. Those wanting to support or discourage certain behaviors of individuals need to be able to recognize those parties.

  5. Stephen

    A common reason that you shouldn’t photograph them given by police officers in the UK is that “they might have to go ‘undercover'” because if you take their photo you might steal their soul and you need your soul to go undercover. It’s the second rule of Spy Club.

    Frankly, I’m not saying British police aren’t James Bond but they just really aren’t James Bond.

    I wonder if that’s anything to do with why these officers haven’t had their pictures published.

  6. Michael Quinn

    The strip search of Meeks was wrong on both a constitutional and departmental policy level. It’s impossible to say it any other way. The fact that the city denies any wrong doing is just preparation for the inevitable lawsuit.
    In my opinion this is just another case of Minneapolis cops not being held accountable for their actions. The idea that they will get away without doing some days off or worse speaks to the level of misconduct that is tolerated by Chief Dolan, a man I once trusted.
    Signed, A Former Mpls Police Sergeant.

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