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.
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.