November 6, 2013
DEMING, N.M. (CBS Las Vegas) — A New Mexico man claims he was anally probed several times by police and medical officials following a traffic stop.
The victim, David Eckert, claims in a federal lawsuit that officers from the Deming Police Department pulled him over after he failed to make a complete stop at a stop sign outside a Walmart this past January.
When Eckert got out of his car, officers indicated that they believed he was in possession of drugs – in his anal cavity.
“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.
A judge granted a search warrant to perform an anal cavity search on Eckert shortly after he was taken into custody. KOB reports that a doctor refused to perform the anal cavity search at a Deming emergency room, saying it was “unethical.” Eckert was then transported to Gila Regional Medical Center, where his alleged trauma began.
According to the lawsuit and medical records, Eckert’s abdominal area was x-rayed twice, doctors stuck fingers in his anus twice, he had three enemas inserted anally and had a colonoscopy performed. No drugs were ever found during the search.
“This is like something out of a science fiction film,” Kennedy told KOB. “Anal probing by government officials and public employees?”
Eckert did not consent to any of the searches.
Kennedy said her client has been “absolutely terrified” since the January incident.
“I mean it’s absolutely unimaginable that this could happen in America,” Kennedy told KOB.
Deming Police Chief Brandan Gigante told KOB that his department follows the law.
“We follow the law in every aspect and follow procedures and protocols we have in place,” Gigante said.
Eckert is suing the City of Deming, the Deming Police Department, the Gila Regional Medical Center and deputies from the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Department.