Courts have long held that strip searches have their place but should not be undertaken lightly.
They can be “degrading and invasive,” a 2004 opinion by Maryland’s highest court said, and should occur only if there’s a reasonable suspicion that the detainee is “carrying weapons or contraband.” Outside of those circumstances, the searches violate basic civil rights.
Soft-spoken, 29-year-old Baltimore County woman (cardiac nurse), Rosemary Munyir, who never even had a parking ticket, was stopped on a rainy evening (last year April), and ordered at gunpoint by a city police officer to lie on the wet ground, where he handcuffed her, then put her in the back of his vehicle and searched hers. He found nothing but still arrested her and took her to central booking.
She was told to remove her clothes, squat and cough (to dislodge anything she might be concealing in a body cavity), then spread her buttocks for visual inspection in front of other detainees without cause.
Daryl A. Martin, who filed the $210 million suit, contends that a police officer stopped his car in 2006 and searched him in front of dozens of people in the 900 block of Patterson Park Ave. The officer frisked Martin through his pants, grabbing his genitals and running his hands along his buttocks, making lewd comments, Martin said in an interview.
He was then stripped below the waist and his rectum probed in front of a crowd .
“It was horrifying,” said Martin, who was never arrested or charged with a crime. “I felt like I was raped that day, like my manhood was gone.”
Baltimore police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that he couldn’t comment on the lawsuit or Martin’s allegations. No one responded to a request for the department’s strip-search policy.
In an answer to Munyiri’s complaint, the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services denies Munyiri’s allegations. “The Defendants specifically deny that Plaintiff was strip searched and subject to a visual body cavity search,” the document reads. It also denies that such searches are customary or completed without probable cause.
A court document filed on the department’s behalf says Munyiri was never strip-searched.
However last month, Munyiri received a package from the intake center in the mail. Inside it was her bra.
Munyiri’s only intention is to hare from her dearest and respected citizens of The United State of America, that what ever happened is not OK, and if some body could let her know that why that police man had to do all those things after knowing exactly who is she.
Presently Munyiri, is suffering from panic attacks. She can’t sleep. She can’t drive the same route home from work. And she’s afraid of the police, the people she once trusted to keep her safe.
Source: baltimoresun.com [www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/baltimore_city/bal-md.stripsearch01mar01,0,2566659.story]
Munyiri has filed a federal lawsuit challenging Central Booking procedures.