What Is The Quantum of Proof Necessary for Police to Rape and Torture you in New Mexico?

Law, Politics & Current Events, WTF?

By now you've probably heard the story of David Eckert. He's the New Mexico man who was stopped by police, detained based on a suspicion he was hiding drugs in his rectum, and subjected to increasingly intrusive anal probing and eventually sedation and a colonoscopy. You might have read about him at Simple Justice or Defending People or BoingBoing or Techdirt or Reason or any of the other places that reported on the ghastly episode.

I waited to write about it until I could get a copy of the search warrant affidavit — helpfully provided by my friend Kevin Underhill of the absolutely essential legal blog Lowering the Bar — so that I could address this question: what quantum of proof is required in New Mexico for the police and compliant doctors to rape and torture a man?

What Police And Doctors Did To David Eckert

I use the terms "rape" and "torture" quite deliberately.

Mr. Eckert released medical records to local reporters, who reviewed them and noted that the following things were done to him by doctors and staff at Gila Regional Medical Center:

1. Eckert's abdominal area was x-rayed; no narcotics were found.

2. Doctors then performed an exam of Eckert's anus with their fingers; no narcotics were found.

3. Doctors performed a second exam of Eckert's anus with their fingers; no narcotics were found.

4. Doctors penetrated Eckert's anus to insert an enema. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.

5. Doctors penetrated Eckert's anus to insert an enema a second time. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.

6. Doctors penetrated Eckert's anus to insert an enema a third time. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.

7. Doctors then x-rayed Eckert again; no narcotics were found.

8. Doctors prepared Eckert for surgery, sedated him, and then performed a colonoscopy where a scope with a camera was inserted into Eckert's anus, rectum, colon, and large intestines. No narcotics were found.

Allow me to repeat: no narcotics were ever found during Mr. Eckert's encounter with police and doctors.

Throughout this ordeal, Eckert protested and never gave doctors at the Gila Regional Medical Center consent to perform any of these medical procedures.

Section 30-9-10 of the statutes of New Mexico provide:

A. Criminal sexual penetration is the unlawful and intentional causing of a person to engage in sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio or anal intercourse or the causing of penetration, to any extent and with any object, of the genital or anal openings of another, whether or not there is any emission.

B. Criminal sexual penetration does not include medically indicated procedures.

C. Criminal sexual penetration in the first degree consists of all sexual penetration perpetrated:

(1) on a child under thirteen years of age; or

(2) by the use of force or coercion that results in great bodily harm or great mental anguish to the victim.

Whoever commits criminal sexual penetration in the first degree is guilty of a first degree felony.

Police officers successfully encouraged doctors to penetrate David Eckert's anus repeatedly, eventually sedating him so they could do it with a colonoscopy device. The procedure was not medically indicated; it was indicated by our nation's War on Drugs.

So why are the police officers from the City of Deming, New Mexico Police Department and doctors and staff from Gila Regional Medical Center who committed these acts upon David Eckert not charged as rapists?

Because they have excuses — the color of law, and a warrant.

How The Police Secured A Warrant To Anally Probe David Eckert

If you want David Eckert's version of what happened to him, you can read the federal complaint he filed against the City of Deming, New Mexico; Deming Police Officers Bobby Orosco, Robert Chavez, and Officer Hernandez; Hildalgo County and Hidalgo County Sheriff Officers David Arrendondo, Robert Rodriguez, and Patrick Green; Deputy District Attorney Daniel Dougherty; and Gila Regional Medical Center and doctors Robert Wilcox and Okay H. Odocha.

But let's not just take his word for it. Let's consider the word of the law enforcement officers for what justified them to bring Mr. Eckert to the Gila Regional Medical Center for doctors to go spelunking in his innards, eventually sedating him so they could so so.

Officer Robert Chavez of the Deming Police Department sought the search warrant. You can read his entire search warrant application here. This is what he sought judicial leave to search:

A brown 1998 Dodge displaying New Mexico JOS-3ll with a YIN #3B7KC26Z9WM274255 and the person of David W. Eckert with a date of birth of 08/0811959, to include but not limited to his anal cavity.

Before he applied to a judge for a warrant, Officer Chavez asked Deputy District Attorney Daniel T. Dougherty for permission. Asking a Deputy DA for permission, in theory, prevents cops from seeking improper or deficient warrants.

In theory.

Officer Chavez took the search warrant to a judge.1. The following is the sum total of what he told the judge to justify what followed:

I. I Officer Robert Chavez was contacted by Sgt Detective Orosco in reference to a brown 1998 Dodge pick- up truck that failed to stop at the posted stop sign at the intersection of Deming Del-Sol and Pine Street.

2. I was traveling East bound on Pine Street and did locate the brown 1998 Dodge pick-up traveling West bound on Pine Street from Deming del-Sol.

3. I conducted a traffic stop with the brown 1998 Dodge pick-up displaying New Mexico JGS-31l with a VIN#3B7KC26Z9WM2742SS in the parking lot of 1021 E. Pine Street (Wal-Mart) parking lot.

4. I approached the driver who was later identified as David W. Eckert and informed him for the reason for the stop.

5. While speaking with Mr. Eckert I did notice that he was avoiding eye contact with me as I asked him for his driver's license, registration and proof of insurance.

6. As Mr. Eckert handed me the documents that were requested I did notice his left hand began to shake at which time I had Mr. Eckert step out of the vehicle. Once outside of the vehicle Mr. Eckert was asked if he had any weapons or anything else that might harm me which he stated "no".

7. I then conducted a Terry Pat Down on Mr. Eckert's person to search for any weapons which none were found.

8. While Mr. Eckert was standing outside of the vehicle I did notice his posture to be erect and he kept his legs together. A short time later I informed Mr. Eckert that a uniformed patrol Officer was coming to issue him a citation for the stop sign violation.

9. Officer Villegas did arrive and issued Mr. Eckert his citation for stop sign violation.

10. Mr. Eckert was then informed that he was free to go.

11. As Mr. Eckert turned to walk back towards his vehicle, I asked him for verbal consent to search his vehicle for any illegal narcotics andlor weapons at that time he did give consent.

12. I then asked Mr. Eckert if I could search his person for any illegal narcotics and/or weapons. At that time he stated that he had a problem with me searching his person.

13. I then informed Mr. Eckert that an open air search was going to be conducted on the vehicle and reminded him that he had given verbal consent to search his vehicle as well.

14. Hidalgo CountyK-9 Officer walked his K-9 around the vehicle which the K-9 alerted to the driver's side of the vehicle. A short time later the K-9 made entry into the cab of the vehicle and once again alerted to the driver's side seat.

15. Mr. Eckert was then informed of the K -9 alerting to the seat and was informed that a search warrant was going to be obtained. Hidalgo County K-9 Officer did inform me that he had dealt with Mr. Eckert on a previous case and stated that Mr. Eckert was known to insert drugs into his anal cavity and had been caught in Hidalgo County with drugs in his anal cavity.

16. Mr. Eckert was then placed into investigated detention and was transported to the Deming Police Department.

17. Mr. Eckert's vehicle was tagged for evidence and was later transferred to the Deming Police Department's impound lot awaiting a search warrant.

18. At approximately 140 I hrs~ I contacted DDA Dougherty and informed of the incident. DDA Dougherty did approve pursuit of a search warrant for Mr. Eckert's vehicle and also for Mr. Eckert's person to include Mr. Eckert's anal cavity.

That's it. The factors that allegedly justify police intrusion into David Eckert's anus are:

  • That his hands were shaking and he avoided eye contact during a traffic stop;
  • He refused to consent to a search of his person;
  • He stood erect with his legs together;
  • No drugs were found in his car or in a pat-down of him (police pat-downs for weapons often turn up drugs, which mysteriously feel like dangerous weapons when touched by police, or which are immediately identifiable as drugs when touched by police);
  • A drug dog (with no information given about the dog's training or qualifications or success rate) "alerted" to his car seat (though no drugs were found in his car); and
  • An unidentified Hidalgo County K-9 officer asserted, without any specificity, that Eckert had previously hidden drugs in his anus.

That's all.  It really comes down to three things:  (1) subjective officer impressions that Eckert looked nervous, (2) a dog alerting on his seat, and (3) an unnamed cop making an unspecific claim that he had previously hidden drugs in his anus. 

The first factor is smoke and mirrors.  It is increasingly clear in America that a reasonable person should be fearful during an encounter with police, who can generally shoot you (or your dog) with probable impunity, and who, it appears, can arrange for you to be systematically anally raped if the mood strikes them. My hands would shake too.

The second factor — the dog alert — has its own problems, but at any rate does not connect drugs to Mr. Eckert's anus. The third factor is effectively an anonymous tip. The affiant, Officer Chavez, does not identify the officer, explain the basis for the officer's knowledge, or offer any details about the alleged instances in which drugs were found in Mr. Eckert's anus. Anonymous tips must be corroborated to support probable cause, and this effectively anonymous tip isn't.

Mr. Eckert asserts that drugs were never found in his anus by any law enforcement agency. If true, that suggests someone lied – the K-9 officer who allegedly told Officer Chavez that, or Officer Chavez. A warrant premised on material false information is invalid. In deciding whether false information was provided to the court to secure the warrant, consider this: the Hidalgo County K-9 officer's report on the incident here doesn't mention any such knowledge about Eckert and doesn't say he conveyed any such information to Officer Chavez. Do you think that would have made it into his report if he had? [Edited to add: A sharp-eyed commenter points out that Hidalgo County Officer Orozco says on page four of this report that he informed Chavez that Eckert had a drug history -- but once again, there is a very glaring absence of any statement that he knew that Eckert had hidden drugs in his rectum.]

You can read Officer Chavez' reports of the incident here and here.

By the way, Eckert has filed a motion for partial summary judgment on some issues, in which he asserts that the dog in question "was not certified and had no credentials."

What Should Terrify Us About This

Orin Kerr is a Fourth Amendment expert. Yesterday at the Volokh Conspiracy — without the benefit of the search warrant yet, as he emphasized — he analyzed the search. As he explained, such an intrusive internal search required a higher level of proof and justification:

The key case is Winston v. Lee, 470 U.S. 753 (1985), which expressly considered when the government can get a warrant to perform surgery on a suspect for evidence in their body. Under Lee, the court must conduct a balancing of the overall invasiveness of the surgical measures as compared to the need for evidence to say whether a warrant can be used to allow the surgical technique. On one hand, withdrawing blood to test it for alcohol in a DUI case is reasonable, and is allowed. On the other hand, dangerous surgery to extract a bullet lodged under a suspect’s collarbone was unreasonable when the bullet was of relatively low evidentiary value.

Prof. Kerr didn't opine on probable cause because he didn't have the warrant yet. But Prof. Kerr concludes that the intrusiveness here — a series of anal intrusions culminating in sedation and a colonoscopy — is not justified under that balancing test to secure drugs that a suspect might hide in his anus. I note that Eckert argues in the complaint that the warrant is invalid because it did not specify the level of surgical intrusion permitted; he cites a case that supports that proposition but also establishes that police officers might be able to rely on a "good faith" defense that the warrant is valid because of their good faith belief that it was valid. Yes, that is a thing.

That is to say a warrant, like the one at issue, that authorizes a medical procedure search of a specific area of the body but does not prescribe any off-limits procedures will be subject to good faith unless the police misled the magistrate, the magistrate abandoned her judicial role, or the warrant so clearly lacked probable cause.

Even though they didn't find drugs — so the admissibility of evidence is not at issue — their reliance on a judge will be a defense.

So: these cops got a warrant that vaguely allowed a search in David Eckert's anus for drugs. Even though searches found nothing, the cops and doctors continued to escalate to steadily more invasive procedures into David Eckert's body to find drugs. Yet, under the "good faith" exception, their reliance on the warrant might be valid if the warrant was valid. Moreover, as Prof. Kerr explains, the cops might be able to rely on the qualified immunity that government employees tend to enjoy when they do things like subject us to involuntary anal probing.

Some people are citing this incident for the proposition that it is terrifying that police officers and doctors would break the law and violate a suspect's rights. I submit there is something far more terrifying about it: the prospect that a court might find that Mr. Eckert's rights weren't violated at all, and that he has no recourse for a team of cops and doctors raping and torturing him.

What's terrifying is that the warrant requirement is supposed to protect our rights from overzealous cops, but here a judge approved a warrant to probe a man anally premised on fluff and a tip from an anonymous cop.

What's terrifying is that lawyers are supposed to guide cops in the law, but a Deputy DA approved this warrant.

What's terrifying is that though the warrant is extraordinarily flimsy, there's a decent chance a judge might find it sufficient. That's because the judiciary has been steadily ground down by decades of law-and-order thin-blue-line rhetoric and by the purported imperatives of the Great War on Drugs, and judges routinely shrug and accept transparently bogus police speculation and awful warrants.

What's terrifying is that a judge who has bought the government's narrative may, employing the balancing test Prof. Kerr talks about, decide that the amount of drugs that can be hidden in a man's rectum justifies detaining him, X-raying him, repeatedly digitally probing him, and despite a total lack of indication he is carrying drugs, sedating him and subjecting him to a colonoscopy.

What's terrifying is that the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution is only as strong as judges allow it to be — and, by extension, only as strong as We the People insist that it must be. We the People are easily frightened into agreeing that the promise of safety outweighs the Fourth Amendment. As Learned Hand said:

Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it. While it lies there, it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it.

I'm not afraid because police officers violated David Eckert's constitutional rights by raping and torturing him because they thought he might have a trivial amount of drugs.

I'm afraid that they might not have violated his rights as defined by the courts, because we have allowed those rights to wither away out of fear and indifference.

The government will continue to act like that until we decide, collectively, that a government that would rape and torture a man to find a fistful of drugs is not worthy of our allegiance, obedience, or respect. The government will continue to act like that until we say "enough."

  1. The judicial signature is difficult to read. I'm working to identify the judge.  

Last 5 posts by Ken White

203 Comments

188 Comments

  1. a_random_guy  •  Nov 7, 2013 @11:33 am

    I posted this on Coyote, but I'll add it here as well:

    The analysis on Volokh is interesting; and not very positive for truth and justice.

    I've been in Deming – probably not all that many people can say that. This is a typical little town on the back-end of no where. The kind of place where the local cops often get their salaries paid by the tickets they issue, because the town can't afford to pay them otherwise. Mind you, I don't know if that's true in Deming, but it's that kind of place. The local cops strut tall, and do pretty much whatever they want to whoever they want. It's the kind of job the local high school bully aspires to.

    This is where you really wish for a dash cam. I have zero evidence, but a big suspicion that Mr. Eckert gave the cops some lip, maybe flipped them off, disrespected them. The local roosters couldn't put up with disrespect, so they figured to get some petty revenge. Mr. Eckert didn't give in, and continually stated his objections to the proceedings, so the cops kept ramping it up. Finally, under full sedation, Mr. Eckert couldn't give them any more lip.

  2. Rich Fiscus  •  Nov 7, 2013 @11:36 am

    5. While speaking with Mr. Eckert I did notice that he was avoiding eye contact with me as I asked him for his driver's license, registration and proof of insurance.

    6. As Mr. Eckert handed me the documents that were requested I did notice his left hand began to shake at which time I had Mr. Eckert step out of the vehicle…

    I guess I'd better stay out of New Mexico since apparently the symptoms of my autism are now considered probable cause.

  3. EH  •  Nov 7, 2013 @11:45 am

    I'm waiting for the revelation that there is some previous connection between Mr. Eckert and one or more of the officers.

  4. Roho  •  Nov 7, 2013 @11:48 am

    As a sidenote, I wish I could be surprised – apparently, they've sent him the medical bill for all those procedures he didn't consent to.

    Seriously, did they watch Brazil with an eye towards 'good ideas'?

  5. TomB  •  Nov 7, 2013 @11:49 am

    At least they didn't shoot his dog…

    Ken, where do you see all this leading? How much are law-abiding people supposed to take?

  6. Jaggerbush  •  Nov 7, 2013 @11:49 am

    I think you hit the nail on the head here Ken. Unfortunately, the judicial system gives a great deal of credence to the allegations of police. I would not be surprised that the victim's refusal to allow a search of himself led the officer's to prod their dog for a positive indication of drugs so they could justify their search of him.

    My Criminal Procedure professor (years ago) had a great line:
    "Back in the day, when a cop came up and asked you what you were doing, where you were going, and if he could search you, the commonly accepted answer was 'go fcuk yourself.' Now, they think they can do whatever they want to do."

  7. Kyle Kiernan  •  Nov 7, 2013 @11:56 am

    What's more, there was another suit filed by another person claiming similar abuse. I wonder how many there are altogether. Did these cops have a profit sharing deal with the medical center?

  8. Ben  •  Nov 7, 2013 @11:59 am

    Some notes:
    1. The judge who signed the warrant is "Judge Viramontes" according to Demming Police Department Incident Report, page 2.

    2. The anonymous tip is most likely Det B Orosco. From the same Incident Report, page 4: "“I monitored the police radio and overheard Officer Chavez run a David Eckert at [sic] the driver of the vehicle. That I had prior knowledge that David was a known meth user from the Lordsberg, NM [sic] area. That I had knowledge that David had prior arrests for methamphetamine. Based on that information, I contacted Officer Chavez and advised him of the information.”
    Note: there is no mention of his having knowledge that Mr. Eckert has been known to hide drugs in his anal cavity before.

    3. *Even if* the warrant had been validly given, it clearly states that the search it authorizes may be carried out between 6am and 10pm (see Officer Robert Chavez Statement page 2). In the Incident Report, it specifically mentions that Mr. Eckert did not arrive at Gila Regional Medical Center until 7pm. He was then given a rectal exam and enema. The Report goes on to state that it took "several hours" for Mr. Eckert to defecate after this first enema. He was then given a further enema and x-ray. I have to believe that, at some point in this process, 10pm came and went; along with it, the authorization for the search warrant. Surely the colonoscopy was not an authorized search because it is recorded as not even beginning until 1am.

  9. Third News  •  Nov 7, 2013 @11:59 am

    I understood a local hospital refused to comply with the procedure, and that is why the police brought Mr. Eckert to the Gila Regional hospital; does 'hospital shopping' outside the county invalidate the warrant?

  10. Jay  •  Nov 7, 2013 @12:05 pm

    Just read the complaint. Am I the only one to notice that although counsel complained of Gila billing him for the services, there is no count for DJ against Gila that the bill is unenforceable?

  11. SarahW  •  Nov 7, 2013 @12:06 pm

    The cops are one thing. Nothing compelled physicians to inflict any of the examinations on this "patient." They kept ordering tests and performing invasive procedures even after expiration of the warrant, which, if I understand correctly, was not even valid in the county where Eckert was treated.

    They should lose their license to practice from a board of discipline, for failure to insist on a valid warrant before carrying out even the most cursory of exams.

  12. Patrick H  •  Nov 7, 2013 @12:13 pm

    If this isn't a textbook explanation of the dangers of a slippery slope, I don't know what is.

    I'm hopeful that this will help more people understand the dangers of the War on Drugs, and that they will no longer support it.

  13. rmd  •  Nov 7, 2013 @12:25 pm

    Although I was tempted to find a clip from "Animal House" of the geek saying "Whatdaya expect us to do, ya moe-ron?" I ask this in all seriousness. What can we, as individual citizens, do to resist this sort of abuse? If it were just the cops, we could hope for justice from the courts. But when it's the cops and the courts, what recourse is left? I suspect any possible answer will be — to use the word Ken used repeatedly — terrifying.

  14. Helen Tansey  •  Nov 7, 2013 @12:27 pm

    Awesome report. Thought you might like to know a second man has come forward from Deming claiming anal search by the same hospital, which btw, as I understand it, is not located w/i the Deming court's jurisdiction. The hospital in the jurisdiction rejected the PD's request to conduct the anal search.

    Here's the link detailing the second guy who's come forward – http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/11/06/second-anal-probe-lawsuit-filed-against-nm-police

  15. Jack  •  Nov 7, 2013 @12:30 pm

    @EH – He did have a run-in with the SAME K-9 officer/dog alerting to his truck just a few months before… which also turned up nothing.

    Also @TomB – is that a picture of MY Beagle on your hovercard :-D
    https://scontent-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/1098374_10100212398408929_1754191845_n.jpg

  16. xtmar  •  Nov 7, 2013 @12:33 pm

    @rmd

    That's the beauty of it. You can't really do anything. The courts are in on it, the politicians don't want to be soft on crime, and most of the populace thinks that the "criminals" have it coming to them. You can't use force, because then you lose automatically. All you can do is wait.

  17. John Thacker  •  Nov 7, 2013 @12:35 pm

    Don't forget that the hospital also sent Mr. Eckert the bill for their "services," and have threatened to send a collections agency after him. Insult to injury.

  18. akahige  •  Nov 7, 2013 @12:36 pm

    According to the original article I read, the warrant was only valid in Luna county, where both Deming and the local hospital are. When the doctor at that medical facility refused to conduct the cavity search (which he regarded as "unethical"), the police then took Mr Eckert to the Gila Regional Medical Center, in neighboring Grant county, where the warrant had no legal force.

    Additionally, the warrant had an expiration time attached (10 PM), and prep for the colonoscopy began at 1 AM the following day.

    So I'm curious what those factors add to the equation.

    EDIT: Some but not all of this was brought up by others in the time it took me to post this, but I'm going to leave it as orginally written.

  19. nlp  •  Nov 7, 2013 @12:37 pm

    News reporters asked the Chief of Police about the assault.

    Deming Police Chief Brandon Gigante said the town had no reason to fear unwarranted intrusions by police officers.
    "We follow the law in every aspect and we follow policies and protocols that we have in place," Chief Gigante replied.

    That's probably the most frightening thing he could have said.

  20. xbradtc  •  Nov 7, 2013 @12:43 pm

    …which, if I understand correctly, was not even valid in the county where Eckert was treated.

    Point of order- Mr. Eckert wasn't treated. He was mistreated.

  21. JoeSchmoe  •  Nov 7, 2013 @12:45 pm

    I wonder how guys like George Washington, Thomas Paine, and Samuel Whittemore would handle this situation? Hmmmm.

  22. Blah  •  Nov 7, 2013 @12:54 pm

    "But guys, we totally don't live in a police state, I mean we don't have labor camps like China does, right? Right?"

  23. Clark  •  Nov 7, 2013 @12:55 pm

    @xbradtc:

    Point of order- Mr. Eckert wasn't treated. He was mistreated.

    Point of order. He wasn't mistreated. He was raped.

  24. Jack  •  Nov 7, 2013 @12:55 pm

    Besides the other 10,000 absurdities and horrors in this story, when you look at google maps, Gila Regional Medical Center is 52 miles away from the Deming Emergency Room…. They had to drive over an hour to find a doctor willing to rape and torture him…

  25. adam  •  Nov 7, 2013 @12:57 pm

    Kevin also mentioned that since the hospital in the county in which the warrant was issued refused to perform the procedure, officers went to a different county (where the warrant was not valid) and found a hospital with doctors willing to perform the procedure – only the warrant, if it were even valid across county lines, had expired some 3 hours prior to the time they actually started.

    i hope heads will roll here but i'm sure everyone involved will be punished to the degree that they should.

  26. Jay  •  Nov 7, 2013 @1:06 pm

    I'm no NM medmal expert, but Dr. Odocha, the surgeon who administered the enemas and performed the colonoscopy, may prevail as a procedural matter if, as pleaded in the affirmative defenses, Plaintiff did not first bring the matter before the medical review panel as required.

  27. Jon  •  Nov 7, 2013 @1:15 pm

    I grew up in Albuquerque, went to grad school in Las Cruces, and have been in and through Deming a few times over the years. While the area around Deming is nice, it's not the kind of town you just go visit by itself. I don't think it's really a question about New Mexico but about any small city with no control over its police force. Or even a large city. Would anyone be really surprised if something like this happened in New York or LA?

  28. David  •  Nov 7, 2013 @1:21 pm

    When I was a wee tot, we (taking our lives into our hands) drove from California to Georgia in a Ford Pinto. Our first and only voluntary stop on this adventure was in Deming, NM. In the gift shop of the diner near the hotel where we stayed, I acquired a postcard showing a cartoon of a donkey with heatstroke. The caption said something like "Deming, NM– 100 miles from water, 5 feet from Hell".

    Ah– Google ftw:

    At the time, I understood this to be a reference to the desert heat.

  29. Alex  •  Nov 7, 2013 @1:24 pm

    Does anyone else get the feeling that this is a particularly incompetent example of "parallel construction"?

  30. pjcamp  •  Nov 7, 2013 @1:27 pm

    What's terrifying is that cops are scum. What's terrifying is that the chief difference between a cop and a criminal is that the cop managed to make it through the police academy before getting arrested himself.

  31. Dave  •  Nov 7, 2013 @1:27 pm

    Long time lurker. I don't have much to add, but an obligatory reference to Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.

  32. James  •  Nov 7, 2013 @1:33 pm

    Imagine if, in one of the rapes, they had discovered that Eckert did, in fact, have narcotics secreted in his anal cavity.

    The man would be on trial – or already convicted, since this was almost two years ago. And his bleating about rape and torture would be seen as "another drug addict complaining about police mistreatment."

    It is truly terrifying that a "routine" traffic stop can lead to this. Unfortunately, the over/under on justice from the police, sheriff, hospital, doctors, and ADA is pretty dismal.

  33. Kilroy  •  Nov 7, 2013 @1:35 pm

    Mr. Eckert has learned the important lesson that he should always keep drugs in his anus. This will prevent any future such treatment as the drugs will easily be discovered and prevent the need for additional searching.

    - Bobby Orosco

  34. The Partiot  •  Nov 7, 2013 @1:37 pm

    History has given The People of The United States dozens of examples of the just and honorable response to such activity, not merely, but especially, when authorized by the government whose jurisdiction is recognized by The United States government over the location of the incidents: Offer the civilian population the opportunity to capture and eliminate the recognized, duly authorized, government (i.e. "regime change"), or have the citizens of The United States, not merely, but especially, those who have sworn their very lives to uphold The Constitution, slaughter every man, woman and child – armed and unarmed – civilian and soldier, in the area (i.e. "shock and awe").

    Slippery slope? The cartoon wolf has already slid over the edge, and is posturing defiantly in mid-air. If anyone whose name appears on a check "signed" by the City of Deming gets out alive, then the rest of you can quit arguing if The United States Constitution is faltering – it's so long gone that not even the "civil servants" furthest down the chain of command are even pretending, any longer. But, what will be said of The Constitution's strength if The City of Deming, the county of Hildalgo, the state of New Mexico – as far up the recognized, duly authorized, chain of command those loyal to The United States Constitution have to slaughter before finding a unanimous group that says "Thank you for liberating us. Here's a blanket pardon for any crimes you committed on your way here. Here's title to what were our profitable industries as a little sumpin' sumpin' for yourselves. And is there any other way we can publicly express our gratitude?" It's The American way, but will the weekend talking heads really claim that such slaughter on American soil means the pendulum of erosion of Constitutional safeguards has finally begun swinging back?

    Do nothing. Do something. Maybe you should seek an epiphany from those majestic bald eagles, soaring through the clouds beneath your … uh-oh

  35. Jens Fiederer  •  Nov 7, 2013 @1:38 pm

    I think at this point they are going to throw the dog under the bus.

  36. Gbear711  •  Nov 7, 2013 @1:51 pm

    It's obvious why Eckert was clenching his buttocks. I would have been arrested, and probably beaten at some point, for protecting my dignity. Shame on the state of New Mexico for abiding such acts by law enforcement.

  37. L  •  Nov 7, 2013 @1:55 pm

    Point of order. He wasn't mistreated. He was raped.

    I'd be disturbed by this comment if I thought you actually meant it, Clark–if you actually believed rape isn't mistreatment.

  38. Roscoe  •  Nov 7, 2013 @2:02 pm

    Imagine if, in one of the rapes, they had discovered that Eckert did, in fact, have narcotics secreted in his anal cavity.

    The man would be on trial – or already convicted, since this was almost two years ago. And his bleating about rape and torture would be seen as "another drug addict complaining about police mistreatment."

    I suspect this was the reason for the persistence shown. After the first couple of "searches" the cops likely recognized they had potential legal trouble. Actually finding drugs would fix that.

    On a related point, as someone who has written and reviewed a lot of warrants, this one is thin but likely states probable cause. I have seen a lot thinner warrants signed of on by a judicial officer.

  39. Mr A  •  Nov 7, 2013 @2:04 pm

    What the fuck happened to First, do no harm? IMO the biggest question here is short drop, or long?

  40. Clark  •  Nov 7, 2013 @2:05 pm

    @L

    Point of order. He wasn't mistreated. He was raped.

    I'd be disturbed by this comment if I thought you actually meant it, Clark–if you actually believed rape isn't mistreatment.

    I was saying that it wasn't merely X, it was Y – which is much much worse.

    Compare: "they didn't rough him up – they BROKE ALL OF HIS RIBS!".

    Yes, breaking a man's ribs does technically count as "roughing him up", but the magnitude is so much worse that the lesser term is almost an obscene understatement.

  41. cpast  •  Nov 7, 2013 @2:14 pm

    I feel like I've seen the same story before with a different person. Please tell me I'm wrong, and that this didn't happen in two separate cases.

  42. gramps  •  Nov 7, 2013 @2:14 pm

    OK– some things remail a bit fuzzy. Not the overall outrageous nature of the event itself.

    Its been several years since this kind of knowledge was of importance to me, but the hours of validity (0600-2200hr) are the "standard" definition of when a warrant may be served, at least in CA. I plead ignorance of the nuances of NM criminal law. If one wishes to serve a warrant after 2200 and before 0600, following, the affiant must show good cause and if the judge buys it the warrant is endorsed for "night service". If a valid warrant (not endorsed for night service) is served at 2130 (9:30pm) the search does not have to be concluded by 2200 hr; once served the search can continue as needed. Whether the original attempt at medical help in searching constitutes the "service" of the warrant will lead us to whether the trip to hospital #2 was a continuation of the search and not barred by the clock striking 2200.

    Only actual knowledge of NM law (of which I have none) will tell if the judicial district structure limits the geographical validity of the warrant. Again, in CA this is not the case. Warrants issued in one county are valid in other counties so long as the issuing county had jurisdiction over the underlying crime.

    It does seem obvious that there is a distinct difference in the medical ethics of the two counties in this story.

  43. Anton Sherwood  •  Nov 7, 2013 @2:19 pm

    In a civilized society, these defendants would at least be shunned.

  44. Shane  •  Nov 7, 2013 @2:25 pm

    And the worst part of all of this is that if Mr. Eckhardt is able to obtain monetary compensation for this it will be footed by the municipalities that these thugs operate in. Nothing will be done to deal with these fucktard cops that abused the law and their authority. This is wrong.

  45. azazel1024  •  Nov 7, 2013 @2:34 pm

    I didn't notice it in the comments or Ken's review, but a couple of other sites mention that fact that the warrant was executed in the WRONG COUNTY! One or two people did also mention that the time scope of the warrant was exceeded.

    I see nothing covering these officers. There couldn't have been a good faith belief that what they were doing was okay when the warrant said it was okay from 6-10pm on X day in Y county and they exceeded the time period by more than 3 hours leading it in to Z day and performed in A county.

    Oh and the reason it was performed in a different county from the one listed in the warrant, is because the first hospital the officers took Mr. Eckert to, the ER doc refused to perform an anal search as he believed it was unethical, warrant or no warrant.

    I refuse to believe that the officers should not be brought up on criminal charges and the doctors in question lose their medical licenses.

  46. Viviana  •  Nov 7, 2013 @2:35 pm

    His hands were shaking when he gave his license to the officer. That is good enough for a colonoscopy , 3 enemas , 2 x rays and 2 digital exams… Damn! When I was stopped for spreading my hands were shaking too!… I guess that in New Mexico I also might qualify for : pap, std screening, colposcopy, endometrial biopsy, hysteroscopy, pregnancy test, 5 bimanual pelvic exams and the adorable " little" probe that is the glory of the GOP legislation: transvaginal ultrasound !

  47. Scote  •  Nov 7, 2013 @2:48 pm

    There are so many things wrong about this incident…so many.

    One is that the PD claims that the victim wasn't under arrest, merely under "investigative detention", and thus he wasn't permitted to contact a lawyer at anytime or call anyone.

    Another is that when Customs thinks you have evidence up your but they don't do a colonoscopy. They wait for you to poo it out. They may help that process along, but they aren't in a huge hurry. Whereas in this case they didn't have probable cause for an arrest that would have allowed them the time to just wait for nature to take its course. Instead, they were in a huge hurry, and thus why they couldn't take no for an answer when a test came up negative. They doubled down each time.

    As to procedural issues over the doctor, I would hope that you don't have to go through a medical board to prosecute a doctor for rape for a non-medically indicated series of involuntary anal penetrations including a sedated colonoscopy.

  48. GuestPoster  •  Nov 7, 2013 @2:54 pm

    How much evidence is needed? Not being well versed in law, I can say that the evidence provided would be sufficient for me to ok step 1 of the probes, assuming I really cared about drugs some guy was concealing, and I don't particularly, but as a judge I suppose I'd have to because law of the land and all. I MIGHT have allowed the second step if I REALLY trusted this particular cop.

    But everything after? Definitely out. If the first invasive test is a negative result, sorry, that's all you get – and even that was probably too much.

  49. Steve  •  Nov 7, 2013 @2:56 pm

    Of all the stories that give credence to the idea that we should be afraid of the police, whether guilty of a crime or not, this one is perhaps the most shocking. It will be interesting to see how far this goes in the court system, but one can only imagine what Antonin "Actual-Innocence-is-not-Grounds-for-Appeal" Scalia would think about a case like this.

    My question for @Ken, which may be the least important question here, is if it turns out that Eckert's rights were not violated as a matter of law, can the hospital prevail in requiring him to pay for the "treatment"? If so, under what theory of action? Surely the parties had no contract. The hospital wasn't providing services on his behalf as they might for an accident victim too ill to consent, so that can't be it either. Can the government demand that Eckert pay, on the theory that because he didn't obey an order to poop out non-existant drugs, he's responsible for the costs incurred? In a story full of nonsense, how the hospital expects to get paid is perhaps the most nonsensical.

  50. Al  •  Nov 7, 2013 @3:01 pm

    @Jens Fiederer

    Oh man, not another Chips situation?

  51. Richard  •  Nov 7, 2013 @3:04 pm

    @The Partiot (sic)

    History has given The People of The United States dozens of examples of the just and honorable response to such activity, not merely, but especially, when authorized by the government whose jurisdiction is recognized by The United States government over the location of the incidents: Offer the civilian population the opportunity to capture and eliminate the recognized, duly authorized, government (i.e. "regime change"), or have the citizens of The United States, not merely, but especially, those who have sworn their very lives to uphold The Constitution, slaughter every man, woman and child – armed and unarmed – civilian and soldier, in the area (i.e. "shock and awe").

    I'm trying to read this, but it is a horrifying run-on sentence (horrifying both because of its atrocious sentence structure and because of what I think it is trying to say).

    Let me see if I can get the gist of what you are saying:
    You think that the proper and proportional response to the rapes of the two men from Deming is to force everyone who is not a civil servant to rise up and murder everyone who is a civil servant. If the non-civil-servants will not do so, you think the proper and proportional response is to massacre the entire population of Deming.

    I'm just trying to clarify, here: Is that the response that you are advocating?

    If not, please clarify your statement by breaking up your run-on sentence into several shorter, more intelligible sentences.

  52. jackn2  •  Nov 7, 2013 @3:10 pm

    I am really sorry this happened to our fellow citizen.

    I sure hope he is able to get expert help bringing these criminals (Bobby Orosco, Robert Chavez, Officer Hernandez, David Arrendondo, Robert Rodriguez, and Patrick Green, Daniel Dougherty, Robert Wilcox and Okay H. Odocha) to justice.

    Robert Wilcox and Okay Odocha should be a slam dunk for malpractice.

    I am sad for the victom, and I hope that he will be eventually compensated for being raped.

  53. Ghost  •  Nov 7, 2013 @3:11 pm

    thank you for such a thorough explanation of what is wrong. I linked this at my blog, and you and William Grigg have the best posts on this story.

  54. Ryan  •  Nov 7, 2013 @3:19 pm

    The troubling part of this isn't the actions of the police*, it's the actions of the judge.

    The whole purpose of prior judicial authorization is to ensure law enforcement have sufficient grounds to justify the intrusion of privacy that any search – from the merest glance into a car or home, right up to the medical sedation and examination of a suspect – brings with it.

    The grounds in the warrant are fairly standard "he was acting suspicious so" boilerplate. Those aren't grounds for a search. Certainly, eye avoidance, a shaky hand, and a canine indication can happen for all kinds of reasons. As someone who used** to enforce drug laws, I would absolutely use that to get authorization to go through a vehicle with a fine comb, but that's not grounds for a cavity search.

    The fact that the judge signed a warrant with unsubstantiated statements from a police officer about factual events – which aren't actually proven to be facts at all – is the incredibly concerning part. Even worse is the fact that the judge did not set out limits on the type of personal search, extent, or scope that he was authorizing. That is far worse than ANY of the police conduct mentioned. The police were acting within the scope of their authorization; it should hardly come as any surprise that they will use the full scope of that authorization. The problem here is that the judge authorized a flimsy warrant and didn't limit it. The cops don't appear to have abused the law or their powers*; this sits squarely on the shoulders of the authorizing judge.

    *Assuming of course that none of the officers actually lied to the judge.
    **Once upon a time, I enforced drugs laws even while voting politically against them (and this not in the US). I've since moved well out of that particular area of law enforcement.

  55. Matthew Cline  •  Nov 7, 2013 @3:22 pm

    Once the colonoscopy showed nothing, did the cops apply for another warrant to allow them to dissect Eckert?

  56. shaggy  •  Nov 7, 2013 @3:23 pm

    What makes this incident even more freightening is the possibility this whole incident originated not with a couple of sadistic coprophiliacs from the Deming PD, but with the NSA giving information to the DEA's SOD program.

    You know, that national security information collected by the NSA that our dear leaders said would never be used against Americans not involved in international terrorism…

  57. jackn2  •  Nov 7, 2013 @3:25 pm

    #10. Free to go

    That's when the trouble started.

  58. Ryan  •  Nov 7, 2013 @3:26 pm

    @Matthew

    Clearly they should have; no doubt the judge wouldn't have seen anything wrong with that either.

  59. Ben  •  Nov 7, 2013 @3:36 pm

    Regarding the timing of the warrant:
    I, too, have no knowledge of NM law (or, for that matter, much law anyplace else). However, the plain text of the warrant is, "You are hereby commanded to search forthwith [Mr. Eckert’s anus] between the hours of 6:00am and 10:00pm…"

    A plain reading of that tells me that the the search can take place from 6am-10pm. Not that the warrant must be served during those hours, or that the search only has to start then. That's when the warrant authorizes a search.

    Regarding the hospital being located in another county:
    I think I'm ok with allowing police to execute warrants in other counties where that other county is the nearest place where a warrant like that can be executed. Let's say that there is no hospital in Luna County, NM, (not true in this case, I know) and that there is a legitimate need for an anal cavity search, (which there wasn't here) I think I'm ok with allowing police to travel across county lines to undertake that search. Otherwise, we would have quite a few rural areas where legitimate police work couldn't be carried out.

  60. Christopher  •  Nov 7, 2013 @3:46 pm

    @Ben The thing is, if either of those things was true, the police should go ahead and get a proper warrant then.

  61. AngelaMotorman  •  Nov 7, 2013 @3:53 pm

    The drug dog they used has not been certified in NM since 2011: http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S3210356.shtml#

  62. JWH  •  Nov 7, 2013 @3:56 pm

    Pardon my ignorance … but are all of these really the only way to search his body for drugs? Couldn't they confiscate his underwear for testing or something?

  63. En Passant  •  Nov 7, 2013 @3:59 pm

    Ken wrote:

    The government will continue to act like that until we decide, collectively, that a government that would rape and torture a man to find a fistful of drugs is not worthy of our allegiance, obedience, or respect. The government will continue to act like that until we say "enough."

    In recent years I've begun to think even this is wildly optimistic.

  64. Clark  •  Nov 7, 2013 @4:08 pm

    @En Passant

    @Ken

    The government will continue to act like that until we decide, collectively, that a government that would rape and torture a man to find a fistful of drugs is not worthy of our allegiance, obedience, or respect. The government will continue to act like that until we say "enough."

    In recent years I've begun to think even this is wildly optimistic.

    This government (not "my" government, for I choose to have nothing to do with it, and regard it as utterly illegitimate) has neither my allegiance, obedience, or respect.

    I agree with En Passant: the idea that merely flipping the government off will accomplish anything is naive.

    The Soviet Union stood for decades.

    The PRC yet stands.

    The American Republic is gone; only the American government remains, and it will reign even after many of us loathe it.

  65. Perry  •  Nov 7, 2013 @4:10 pm

    @Matthew – why would they apply for another warrant for dissection? Clearly, the original warrant allowed them to do ANYTHING they needed to find the drugs.

  66. Rick Horowitz  •  Nov 7, 2013 @4:15 pm

    The saddest part of this story is that there is almost certainly no turning back now. The courts CANNOT do anything about this anymore, because for too long they've written opinions stating that it's okay to do things like this. That's why they happen.

    Ordinary law-abiding citizens, for bizarre reasons that totally escape me, believe that it can't happen to them — a variation on "It Can't Happen Here" by Sinclair Lewis. Believe me, it CAN happen to anyone these days.

    The courts won't stop it. The DAs won't stop it. The police won't stop it. The politicians won't stop it.

    Unfortunately, the only way to stop it would be if there were some way for ordinary citizens to meaningfully communicate to the powers that be that THEY were going to stop it.

    But we're no longer the revolutionaries our founders were, and the disparity between our power and the power of government is far, far great than it was in their day. Today's government would squash us like bugs.

    Although, if you ask me, we deserve it, for letting things get to this point.

  67. Ryan  •  Nov 7, 2013 @4:15 pm

    @JWH

    All that would do is give an additional indicator. The only way to find drugs is to actually find the drugs.

    That said, some things that I, having some experience in this area, would have done:
    1. Ask the fellow – "is there a reason you aren't looking at me and your hands are shaking?"
    2. "Suffered any physical injuries that might affect your posture?"
    3. "Any reason the dog is indicating for drugs on your driver's seat?"
    4. Conduct a chemical test on the seat fabric, outer clothes, and underclothes (with warrant) – there are all kinds of nifty gadgets and tests we have now that indicate the presence of drugs with a fair bit of accuracy.
    5. If all of those things still point to the dude (e.g. positive objective indicator testing beyond the dog) having swallowed and/or 'inserted' drugs, then the next step is detention until he poops (with warrant). Check stool. Still no drugs? One more poop. Still nothing? We're done.

    What these cops had was a long way from that. However, my experience with the investigative competency of tiny, local PD suggests that these guys figured they were sure to get drugs here. That is why you"re supposed to have prosecutor require your warrants before going to a judge, and why the judge is supposed to scrutinize the warrant.

    I can't speak for the US situation, but the legal framework I work in says that all searches are deemed unreasonable unless authorized by warrant, and an information laid in application for a warrant must contain everything within its 4 corners to show the search is justified, necessary, and will be conducted in a reasonable manner respecting the rights of the accused. Apparently the judge in this NM case slept through the equivalent of that session of "how to be a judge"

  68. SarahW  •  Nov 7, 2013 @4:27 pm

    It's the hospital/physicians to blame. They had no obligation to assist the investigation with a colonoscopy or other invasive examinations even if there had been a valid warrant in effect.

  69. TomB  •  Nov 7, 2013 @4:28 pm

    Also @TomB – is that a picture of MY Beagle on your hovercard :-D

    I wish, Jack, 'cause I'd find out where you lived and dogknap her. That's my Abby, and I had to put her down at the tender age of 4 a few years ago. I miss her terribly. Beagles are great, great dogs.

    But to bring this unnecessary post back on topic, what has happened that I feel much more sympathy for a dog than I do for members of the law-enforcement community? (if you truly want to be scared, go to the forums at policeone. I can't begin to express the mindset of current cops)

  70. ULTRAGOTHA  •  Nov 7, 2013 @4:29 pm

    The doctors were just doing their jobs. Just following the orders of law enforcement.

    I think that mentality has lead to some pretty horrific things in the past.

  71. xbradtc  •  Nov 7, 2013 @4:38 pm

    … it should hardly come as any surprise that they will use the full scope of that authorization.

    Given that Mr. Eckert suffered rape by colonoscopy, that's an unfortunate choice of words.

  72. free2go  •  Nov 7, 2013 @4:42 pm

    10. Free to go

    I am horribly confused by this. How can an officer re-detain an individual after saying the individual is free to go? If this happens to me, and I silently walk back to my car and drive off, despite an officer saying, "Just one more thing," am I considered evading detention?

    "Free to go" -> "oh, one more thing" -> drug dog search and alert away from camera -> arrest. This is a classic abuse of rights. How is it constantly upheld in courts?

  73. mud man  •  Nov 7, 2013 @4:43 pm

    Cops are the embodiment of institutionalized social force, so it isn't surprising that they tend towards violence when poorly supervised. Not a good thing, but a regular thing. Cops and Butftucking. Why do you suppose they didn't just PLANT the damn drugs like the do?

    The Evil thing here is the participation of the Medical Establishment. They are supposed to be about something different.

  74. Doctor X  •  Nov 7, 2013 @4:47 pm

    When I first read of this ELSEWHERE–with link to HERE–I posted reams of bandwidth on how the doctors should be prosecuted through the relevant medical board. I will try to be concise.

    It is not the job of physicians to catch criminals. If anyone seriously believed he had drugs up his fundament then they merely needed to wait. "It will all come out in the end." Someone might argue, "but what about the dangers if the bag ruptures or damages him, THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!" but that is not indicated in what I have read above. Further, as an adult, you have a right to refuse even life-saving treatment.

    "Do not try to teach the Buddha about Buddhism," so I am not going to speculate on the law to lawyers, but I am aware adults can be compelled to undergo procedures with appropriate court orders. This does not appear to be the case here. Further, the "solution" remained waiting. A physician following ethics and applying informed consent could have simply informed the accused that if he has drugs/plutonium/the Maltese Falcon where Ba'al did not intend it to be located, he has a risk of injury.

    The accused may then refuse. In fact, he may even sign a waver "against medical advice." Now, I do not see the "medical necessity" for exploratory colonoscopy. I am just trying to address possible excuses these quacks–that is right, I call them that–may raise when forced to justify their malpractice.

    So then you wait.

    Of course, the police do not want to wait. They may not be able to hold him for that time, et cetera. Welcome to democracy, officer! We have delicious cake!

    Yet–so much for "brief"–they had the diagnosis. Objects like packs of drugs do not . . . "hide" on an x-ray. A simple "t3h g00gle" search of abdominal x-rays "normal" and "hiding drugs" will demonstrate this. It is rather obvious. Still not convinced?

    Then wait.

    As for the "Punchline" of "Information Retrieval Charges!"–kudos to the Brazil reference, I am sure the man's lawyer will have a veritable field day with that.

    Hate to continue with the hiLARious puns, but I hope a number of hospital and police asses get [CENSORED--Ed.] with a garlic press over this!

    –J.D.

  75. Donald  •  Nov 7, 2013 @4:52 pm

    You forgot to add that the warrant was only valid in Luna county, but the procedure was carried out in Grant county (used to live in Silver City, NM where Gila Regional is located

  76. barry  •  Nov 7, 2013 @4:53 pm

    As a side issue, it demonstrated that once the Deming Police had made up their minds, evidence was not going to change it (search again & bring in the Gimp). This bias of belief over evidence doesn't seem a useful investigative attribute of any police force.

    My 'cheap analogy' here is the Iraq war. The UN weapons inspectors couldn't find any WMD's, so the cowboy-cops decided the reasonable action was to ramp up the violence of the search, as if that would somehow help.

    It's a mindset that I hope doesn't become universal, or even widely accepted.

  77. Clark  •  Nov 7, 2013 @4:54 pm

    @TomB:

    I feel much more sympathy for a dog than I do for members of the law-enforcement community

    Makes perfect sense to me.

    Dogs are people, but LEOs – by pinning on a badge and pledging that they'll enforce the law – even when the law says that innocent people should be jailed or dogs can be shot – have opted out of the human race.

    Fuck them all, and may they die slow horrible syphilitic deaths.

  78. Rob Crawford  •  Nov 7, 2013 @4:56 pm

    What's terrifying is that lawyers are supposed to guide cops in the law….

    The primary interest of lawyers is to place everyone under the thumbs of lawyers.

  79. Rob Crawford  •  Nov 7, 2013 @5:01 pm

    LEOs – by pinning on a badge and pledging that they'll enforce the law – even when the law says that innocent people should be jailed or dogs can be shot – have opted out of the human race.

    And NOTHING bad has EVER happened from that kind of attitude.

  80. Doctor X  •  Nov 7, 2013 @5:04 pm

    One main problem with the Iraq War analogy, barry is Saddam not only once had WMDs, he used them. If what I read above is all true, the accusation that Mr. Eckert "previously hid drugs in his anus" is false or, perhaps better put, unverified.

    Now, there are graves and bodies and all of that which testify to Saddam's past use of chemical weapons.

    Where is the evidence Eckert "previously hid drugs in his anus?" I would think it rather easy: is there not an arrest record? Or did the officer who "remembered," after having discovered drugs in Mr. Eckert's anus, decide to let him go? Tore up the paper work?

    I know you are not arguing otherwise barry. You are correct that, in both cases, once the conclusion was created, no evidence would stand in its way.

  81. Quickgottarun  •  Nov 7, 2013 @5:08 pm

    Although, if you ask me, we deserve it, for letting things get to this point.

    that's a bit too sins-of-the-father-y for my tastes.

  82. Michael Donnelly  •  Nov 7, 2013 @5:34 pm

    One thing that really creeps me out about "the system" is there appears to be no "conservation of energy" for responsibility.

    If a cop just up and rapes someone on his own with nobody else involved, it's pretty easy: there's the responsible party right there, 100%.

    But what if there's a shaky warrant? Ok, now maybe some responsibility should be shared with that judge. And if the warrant was based on random bullshit, maybe the source of the random bullshit should get some responsibility as well.

    But it doesn't work like physics. Every time a new party is added, the total amount of the responsibility in the system is decreased. At this point, with this many actors, I'd say the total is approximately zero. But the funny thing is, Mr. Eckert still got sedated and had metal objects shoved in his ass without consent. That still happened.

    The final outcome, by my estimation, will be nothing more than a cop or two fired. The cops will then have to get new jobs, where we know prior history isn't much of a problem.

    To say this is deeply depressing is the biggest understatement ever. Where did the responsibility go? Is there some kind of ass-rape-entropy that I'm overlooking? Or maybe it's not specific to ass-rape, since the responsibility seems to decay in all of the situations posted here.

  83. James Pollock  •  Nov 7, 2013 @5:38 pm

    For me the piece de resistance wasn't the "hey, if we keep looking we're bound to find something up there that makes this all worthwhile." Rather, it was the medical facility billing the man for the services provided, um, to him.

  84. Doctor X  •  Nov 7, 2013 @5:43 pm

    I take the billing as an attempt to pretend the procedures were necessary.

    Hell, I am billing you ALL for reading my comment!!11!

  85. xtmar  •  Nov 7, 2013 @5:53 pm

    This might be damnation by faint praise, by at least they didn't plant anything in his truck. That seems like it would have been an easier path, and one unlikely to be detected.

  86. Clark  •  Nov 7, 2013 @5:58 pm

    @Rob Crawford

    LEOs – by pinning on a badge and pledging that they'll enforce the law – even when the law says that innocent people should be jailed or dogs can be shot – have opted out of the human race.

    And NOTHING bad has EVER happened from that kind of attitude.

    It is wrong to discriminate against Blacks or Jews or Hispanics or Gays because people are born into those groups and do not pledge any sort of allegience to them, nor does their inclusion in a group show that they have opted into the dominant ethical pattern.

    Is it right to discriminate against Jihadis or SS members or KKK members or Bloods or Crips because (a) people consciously opt into said group, and (b) do so knowing their norms and and behaviors.

    The War on Americans Who Use Drugs has been going on for decades. It is a very rare LEO who pinned on the badge before the War.

    In 1944 I'd hold no ill will (or not much) to a German who was drafted…but if a German signed up to go throw Jews out of their homes, then screw him.

    In 2013 I hold no ill will (or not much) to an American who is drafted into the American police…but if a man or woman signs up to go shoot dogs and digitally rape anuses, then screw him. He's bought what Screwtape is selling, and I wish him or her nothing but the very worst. Free will is a bitch.

  87. Clark  •  Nov 7, 2013 @6:00 pm

    @Michael Donnelly

    One thing that really creeps me out about "the system" is there appears to be no "conservation of energy" for responsibility.

    If a cop just up and rapes someone on his own with nobody else involved, it's pretty easy: there's the responsible party right there, 100%.

    But what if there's a shaky warrant? Ok, now maybe some responsibility should be shared with that judge. And if the warrant was based on random bullshit, maybe the source of the random bullshit should get some responsibility as well.

    I alluded to this coyly in a blog post a week or so back, where I had a link to the Wikipedia article for
    Diffusion of responsibility.

    To quote:

    Diffusion of responsibility is a sociopsychological phenomenon whereby a person is less likely to take responsibility for action or inaction when others are present. Considered a form of attribution, the individual assumes that others either are responsible for taking action or have already done so.[1] The phenomenon tends to occur in groups of people above a certain critical size and when responsibility is not explicitly assigned. It rarely occurs when the person is alone and diffusion increases with groups of three or more.

    The diffusion of responsibility for alleged war crimes during World War II was famously used as a legal defense by many of the Nazis being tried at Nuremberg. A similar defense was mounted by the defendants accused in the My Lai massacre.

    I like the Nuremberg reference. Folks should dwell on the fact that "just following orders" or "just following the Supreme Court" bears a lot of weight in 2013 but might not at other dates.

  88. David Schwartz  •  Nov 7, 2013 @6:01 pm

    @Michael Donnelly: The more people involved, the more bad acts for people to be responsible for.

  89. Clark  •  Nov 7, 2013 @6:03 pm

    @James Pollock

    "hey, if we keep looking we're bound to find something up there that makes this all worthwhile."

    Where're the drugs, Lebowski?

    It's down there somewhere…let me just take another look.

  90. The Partiot  •  Nov 7, 2013 @6:13 pm

    @ Richard

    > you think the proper and proportional response is to massacre the entire population of Deming.
    >
    > I'm just trying to clarify, here: Is that the response that you are advocating?
    >
    > If not, please clarify your statement by breaking up your run-on sentence into several shorter, more intelligible sentences.

    If that's what you gleaned from the post, then I'm sure my intellect is too lacking to rise to the challenge yours poses.

    If trolling by claiming lack of ability to follow is the game, then play noted.

    If you think "google" is a misspelling you dare not taint your clipboard with (sans "sic"), try internetting "google", "i.e.", "regime change", and "shock and awe".

  91. Michael Donnelly  •  Nov 7, 2013 @6:15 pm

    @Clark:

    I alluded to this coyly in a blog post a week or so back, where I had a link to the Wikipedia article for
    Diffusion of responsibility.

    Damn, I missed that post. Naturally, there's a Wikipedia article describing the exact annoyance I'm feeling.

    If there's a Wikipedia article describing the annoyance of discovering a Wikipedia article for an annoyance, I'm going to be pissed.

  92. jdgalt  •  Nov 7, 2013 @6:22 pm

    These outrages will happen again and again until one of two things happens.

    (1) Some judge does his bleepity-bleep JOB and strips the police who do them of their immunity to lawsuit (and preferably also grants the victim the right to prosecute the crime himself).

    or

    (2) The victims start shooting back, and juries refuse to convict them.

    For all our sakes, I really hope (1) happens first — but it's had more than plenty of time to happen already, and shows no sign of doing so.

  93. Shannon  •  Nov 7, 2013 @6:32 pm

    I'm no legal expert, but didn't the Supreme Court ruling in the case of Cruzans v. Missouri Department of Health establish a constitutional right to refuse any medical treatment?

    I would think that would make the standard for anything that could be defined as "treatment" much higher in terms of getting a warrant. E.g., while a blood test is not treatment for anything, but rather a test, an enema IS a treatment (specifically, for things stuck in the rectum, most commonly, feces).

    Also, it strikes me that few seem concerned with whether or not Eckert might have any condition that contraindicated sedation meds, a colonoscopy, or an enema. If the doctors did not get a thorough medical history before administering any medications, they would be liable for malpractice (as would the medical establishment). I think the only time that isn't the case is when somebody comes in unconscious – say, from an accident.

  94. PonyAdvocate  •  Nov 7, 2013 @6:35 pm

    IANAL, and have a tangential question: As a matter of law, where is the line, if there is one, dividing when one can and when one cannot use force against a law enforcement agent in self-defense? Suppose you are standing peaceably on the street, have committed no crime, and a police officer in uniform comes at you with a baseball bat and, without saying a word, strikes you two or three times, knocking you down. While he's aiming a blow at your head, you get out your pistol and shoot him. Would this, as a matter of law, be a justifiable use of force in self-defense? What if he tells you before going to work with the bat that you're under arrest? What if you do, or you don't, make a move to surrender, or to escape, before he goes to work with the bat? What if you have committed a crime (suppose you're carrying illegal drugs)?

    Applicability to the present case: At what point, if any, did David Eckert have the legal right to violently resist what was done to him (without regard to the advisability of violent resistance)?

  95. NI  •  Nov 7, 2013 @6:51 pm

    Here's a scary thought: Someday the war on drugs will end; no policy that stupid can last forever. When it does, what will the police do with their shiny tanks, their bloated manpower, and their court-enshrined rights to treat the citizenry like dirt? I doubt very much that the police state we've allowed this country to become will quietly revert back to being a free society; surely the police will find some new threat to the children to justify continuing to kick in doors and shoot dogs. Any suggestions as to what will replace the war on drugs?

  96. xtmar  •  Nov 7, 2013 @6:53 pm

    @Pony Advocate

    As a practical matter, I think the answer is never.

  97. Cheryl Dieter  •  Nov 7, 2013 @7:01 pm

    As the mother of two autistic boys I shake in my shoes when I read this sort of stuff. My sons can't look in someone's eyes for more than 2 seconds. The other cannot handle being touched and very well might slug a cop if he was being touched without even thinking. I guess I will not be able to let my boys out of the house once they are teens because it could result in their torture and heaven forbid their murder by the very people who are suppose to protect them.

  98. mp  •  Nov 7, 2013 @7:12 pm

    Daughter just got her driver's license. As part of her training, I told her if she drives to the 7-11 and sees a police car in the parking lot, just keep driving to the next convenience store.

  99. Richard  •  Nov 7, 2013 @7:13 pm

    @The Partiot

    you think the proper and proportional response is to massacre the entire population of Deming.

    I'm just trying to clarify, here: Is that the response that you are advocating?

    If not, please clarify your statement by breaking up your run-on sentence into several shorter, more intelligible sentences.

    If that's what you gleaned from the post, then I'm sure my intellect is too lacking to rise to the challenge yours poses.

    Yes, that is what I gleaned from the post. I was not trolling by pretending lack of understanding (though, I must admit, the insults towards your command of the English language were designed to elicit a response. I accept your insults towards my intelligence in the same spirit). It genuinely took me about a half-dozen tries to make it through that meandering sentence.

    Having read your post more carefully (instead of merely using your second paragraph as a reference to try and decipher that overwrought first sentence), it appears that you were being ironic. Please forgive me for having succumbed to Poe's Law and misinterpreting your convoluted hyperbolic rhetoric for an actual legitimate support of fascism.

    Note for future: on the Internet, it's often hard to tell whether someone means what they're saying or not. Perhaps it would be better for you to communicate your message clearly, so that the reader does not miss out on the subtext of your post while trying to wring the surface meaning out of the text.

  100. D  •  Nov 7, 2013 @7:16 pm

    "he cites a case that supports that proposition but also establishes that police officers might be able to rely on a "good faith" defense that the warrant is valid because of their good faith belief that it was valid. Yes, that is a thing."

    It is like they are bringing fairies back to life if they just believe hard enough.

  101. JWH  •  Nov 7, 2013 @7:20 pm

    @Ryan:

    Thanks. I actually discussed this with a friend the other night (a civil libertarian, not a law-enforcement person), and we were trying to figure out if this was really the best way to execute this kind of warrant.

    My position was that (assuming the warrant was valid) the best thing to do was to detain the guy for a few hours, let him defecate, and check the stool.

    This would be rather inconvenient (and, yeah, kind of humiliating), but it wouldn't be nearly as invasive as this was.

  102. Pablo  •  Nov 7, 2013 @7:30 pm

    IANAL

    You might want to take the time to spell that out for this post.

  103. Tarrou  •  Nov 7, 2013 @7:50 pm

    Ahh, I miss the old days, when police brutality was just cops hitting people with their sticks when they didn't like them. Now, with video everywhere and Rodney King a household word, those assholes have gotten inventive.

    I'm surprised those sociopaths didn't dissect the guy to "find the drugs". I'm unfortunately not surprised that judges sign off on this sort of bullshit all the time.

    The cops are not your friend, the cops are force aimed at the populace of a country, nothing more or less. A necessary force, to be sure, but force all the same. And a bureaucracy of force always seeks to perpetuate and enlarge itself, like every other bureaucracy.

  104. Clark  •  Nov 7, 2013 @8:00 pm

    @Tarrou

    The cops are not your friend

    Rather: the cops are your enemy.

    the cops are force aimed at the populace of a country, nothing more or less. A necessary force, to be sure

    Necessary? How?

    For half the history of European settlement on this continent we had no police force and we managed. That seems to undercut "necessary".

  105. Doctor X  •  Nov 7, 2013 @8:08 pm

    Diffusion of Responsibility–blaming imaginary beings and fairy tales for ones own maliciousness.

  106. htom  •  Nov 7, 2013 @8:28 pm

    Leo the K-9 (is his name really Leo?) is being cited as a part of the evidence. Look, dogs are good people, but they do as they're trained. If you claim the dog did something, that's on you, you trained him. Yes, I'm saying that dogs can use the "I was just following orders" defense. Humans can't.

    I did not take rifle in hand and step out on the porch, looking up and down the street to see what others were doing. I did wonder if things would come to that in my lifetime.

  107. Dan  •  Nov 7, 2013 @8:46 pm

    Dogs are people, but LEOs – by pinning on a badge and pledging that they'll enforce the law – even when the law says that innocent people should be jailed or dogs can be shot – have opted out of the human race.

    Fuck them all, and may they die slow horrible syphilitic deaths.

    I think this is first time I have ever agreed with a post of yours, Clark.

    That said…these police officers are monsters. Rape is rape.

  108. shaggy  •  Nov 7, 2013 @8:47 pm

    @jdgalt

    There is a third possibility; that the American people will start to regard their government as the "bad guy" when they sit in the jury box in a criminal case.

    As a lawyer, I always loathed the idea of jury nullification. It is essentially abandoning the oath you take as a juror, and disregarding the facts and jury instructions to render a verdict based on your personal feelings or desired outcome in a case. My views have changed, especially when it comes to any case regarding the war on drugs.

    There is a reason the federal conviction rate is over 90%; in part because the American people have traditionally viewed their government as the "good guys" in criminal trials, protecting the citizenry from the criminal. As cases like this come to light, as well as incidents such as unwarranted shootings of harmless dogs and tazerings of grandmas, and expansive overuse of heavily armed and militarized police forces for even minor crimes and warrants, and now sharing of info gathered from the NSA for relatively minor drug crimes, its becomming clearer to more and more people that this isn't the America most of us grew up in, something has gone terribly wrong, and just who is the real "criminal" in the case isn't so clear.

    But regular Americans sit on criminal juries everyday. They, not the judges or the "government", are the ones giving out the penalties which is the very point of all this government overreach and crushing of civil liberties. Regular Americans need to take responsibility for their part in this mess and stop rewarding their government with convictions when the government uses tactics like this that shock the conscience and make us wonder where this country went so horribly wrong.

    So do your duty. Jury duty. And when you do, remember how much your government has lied to you, the insane tactics it has used to curtail your freedoms, your privacy, and your civil liberties, and ask yourself if it isn't time to return the favor when you're asked to render a verdict in favor of your government and the practices it uses.

  109. Pete  •  Nov 7, 2013 @8:51 pm

    I believe the warrant is signed by -

    Judge Daniel Viramontes
    Sixth Judicial District (Grant, Hidalgo & Luna), Division IV, Deming

  110. Jeff Hall  •  Nov 7, 2013 @9:36 pm

    > This is where you really wish for a dash cam. (a_random_guy)

    Actually, a Google search Deming New Mexico dashcam gives a pretty terrifying list of hits.

  111. Craig Fox  •  Nov 7, 2013 @9:44 pm

    I know things in southern NM are scary. I just didn't think they were Deliverance Alabama scary.

  112. Trent  •  Nov 7, 2013 @10:36 pm

    I hope he wins his suit against the doctors involved. I hope he convinces their insurance companies that the were not engaged in medicine and that their malpractice insurance policy terms prohibits covering any monetary damages and I hope that he bankrupts the medical personal involved including having their wages garnished for the rest of their lives. I also hope to god he files a license complaint against the doctors and medical personal.

    Those doctors violated their oaths and I have no doubt they violated state licensing law when they performed an involuntary colonoscopy (which is not a trivial procedure) for no medical reason.

    It's probably too much to hope that everyone involved will be punished but at the very least those doctors better be ruined for this. That will at least put enough of a chill in the medical community that no doctor will ever participate in something like this again.

  113. Dan  •  Nov 7, 2013 @10:40 pm

    @Jeff Hall: I just found this, after searching for "deming nm dashcam" on Google: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/11/06/another-minor-traffic-stop-in-new-mexico-another-serious-violation-of-a-mans-body-same-exact-police-dog/

    Wow…they just don't know when to quit, do they?

  114. Ryan  •  Nov 7, 2013 @10:41 pm

    @Clark

    On Nov 7 at 7:51 AM you wrote:

    Prenda et all have no more harmed the reputation of "all lawyers" than OJ Simpson harmed the reputation of "all African Americans" or Bernie Madoff harmed the reputation of "all Jews".

    People are individuals. Pick any set and you'll find sinners and saints.

    Then at 4:54 PM on Nov 7, you said:

    Dogs are people, but LEOs – by pinning on a badge and pledging that they'll enforce the law – even when the law says that innocent people should be jailed or dogs can be shot – have opted out of the human race.

    Fuck them all, and may they die slow horrible syphilitic deaths.

    Which makes me wonder how the eminently reasonable Clark of this morning got replaced and when. The juxtaposition is astounding.

    It's remarkable that you can, in the span of less than 12 hours, move from a statement that assigns blame to people as individuals and not the profession they belong to, to the polar opposite, just because the latter happens to spout hate and vitriol toward a group you vehemently dislike, while the former forgives people who are in a profession that you at least partially respect because of a few individuals you know who are a part of it.

    For every tale of a police officer stepping beyond the scope of what we can loosely call "reasonableness," we can find a tale of a lawyer doing much the same (although the harm inflicted by bad actors among lawyers affects people differently than that inflicted by the police). There is no difference between these two professions in that regard – it's up to the people who are part of the profession and its on their individual actions.

    I don't agree with the theatrics of the security state or the War on Drugs or a myriad of other ways in which law enforcement are employed, but that doesn't mean denigrating the individuals employed there – most of them, by far the majority, are employed there to make a difference and protect society at large. If you want those functions gone, there are political mechanisms to do that.

    I realize that it's unlikely my posting will ever result in a Clark that doesn't spout constant and indiscriminate hate and vitriol toward all law enforcement, but given your post of this morning and then later this evening, I felt this a good opportunity to point out how blind you become to reasonable analysis on this issue when you are so capable of it elsewhere.

  115. MrSpkr  •  Nov 7, 2013 @10:46 pm

    I wish I could vigorously challenge this post as unduly pessimistic, alas, I suspect it is merely a good observation.

  116. htom  •  Nov 7, 2013 @10:47 pm

    Ryan — the difference is that I get to choose my lawyers, but I don't get to choose the police who rape me.

  117. Ryan  •  Nov 7, 2013 @10:53 pm

    @TWH

    My position was that (assuming the warrant was valid) the best thing to do was to detain the guy for a few hours, let him defecate, and check the stool.

    As a matter of course, law enforcement that isn't run on the budget, training and competence less than your average fast-food joint actually have toilets designed for this precise purpose. I've been party to searches that detained people to use them. That process is respectful, if unpleasant due to the nature of it, and a far cry from irresponsible and unjustified medical procedures.

    Frankly, the application and the warrant signed by the judge in this matter aren't suitable for anything more than being used as toilet paper in one of those facilities, and only then if there is no other alternative. "Justice" in the middle of nowhere NM is apparently a concept imported by such bastions of rights as Saudi Arabia… though from the circumstances of this case, that might actually be an insult to the Saudi justice system.

  118. Ryan  •  Nov 7, 2013 @11:01 pm

    @htom

    Really? You get to choose the lawyer who unjustly sues you for protected opinion and costs you thousands of dollars as a result?

    You get to choose the overworked, underpaid public defender who probably won't be able to represent you to the level you need if you ever get arrested for a crime and can't afford to hire your own?

    Oh, maybe you get to choose the highly-paid lawyers who lobby for corporate and influential interests to ensure that laws are written for a certain class of people at the expense of everyone else?

    Don't get me wrong – there are a lot of very competent, principled legal counsel out there. But there are just as many "bad apples" proportionately in that profession as there are in law enforcement. Like Clark said this morning – given any subset of people, you will find bad actors who don't represent the whole. It's unfortunate how many people get caught up in the anecdotes (and there are many) of law enforcement acting improperly that they lose sight of this in and among their hatred/contempt.

  119. BradnSA  •  Nov 7, 2013 @11:28 pm

    I wonder if Deming Police Chief Brandon Gigante's nickname is
    Sabado?

  120. Eric  •  Nov 8, 2013 @12:00 am

    Sorry if this has already been said, but what they did is far from the medically accepted treatment for someone who has swallowed drug packets. If the patient (rape victim in this case) has had drug packets confirmed in their intestines by x-ray the treatment is to administer a laxative and wait for them to pass. Not probe their anus with their fingers, and definitely not to give a colonoscopy. In fact a colonoscopy is never indicated. If they exhibit symptoms of overdose the remedy is emergency surgery.

    I only mention this because what the doctors did is the exact opposite of what you'd want to do if a patient had drug packets in their colon. The horrendous violations of bodily autonomy and constitutional rights stand on their own.

  121. Rick H.  •  Nov 8, 2013 @1:28 am

    "The government will continue to act like that until we decide, collectively, that a government that would rape and torture a man to find a fistful of drugs is not worthy of our allegiance, obedience, or respect. The government will continue to act like that until we say 'enough.'"
    - Ken

    "Find out just what any people will quietly submit to, and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."
    - Frederick Douglass

    Re: Ryan
    >"Don't get me wrong – there are a lot of very competent, principled legal counsel out there. But there are just as many "bad apples" proportionately in that profession as there are in law enforcement."

    - The difference is that a lawyer will battle other lawyers. In fact, one could say that's his/her job, to fight and prevail for the client. On the other fist, cops (and their unions) routinely circle the wagons to defend the very scummiest among them. In fact, the more despicable the behavior, the more steadfastly it will be defended by police… including those supposed "good cops" who support evil by silence and inaction.

  122. Illy  •  Nov 8, 2013 @3:00 am

    Has anyone ever tried the line:
    "You are not acting in the way a police officer would act in this situation, therefore I refuse to believe that you are actually a police officer, and are instead a criminal with a *fake* badge trying to kidnap/assauly/rape me. I will react appropriately."
    Of course, you need balls of steel to pull that off, but I would love to see their responce to it.

  123. myiq2xu  •  Nov 8, 2013 @4:46 am

    Who is Sgt Detective Orosco? In my experience when detectives are involved in traffic stops the stop is a pretext for something else, like a search for drugs.

  124. mcinsand  •  Nov 8, 2013 @5:09 am

    What are the odds that the physicians involved will lose their licenses over this malpractice? I have my hopes, just as I hope that the officers involved will serve time in jail.

    Yeah, I gotta watch that Friday morning optimism.

  125. Tarrou  •  Nov 8, 2013 @6:14 am

    Necessary? How?

    For half the history of European settlement on this continent we had no police force and we managed. That seems to undercut "necessary".

    And if we lived in single-family dwellings ten miles from the nearest other human with no means of transport faster than a horse, you could be right. People in groups don't act like people alone, and the bigger the group, the worse people act.

    The police power (as opposed to a police force) is nothing new, and every society has used it. Even those without a professional police force. It just means people have to either do it themselves or call in the Army. I oppose using a nation's military against its own population except in the direst circumstances (Civil War, etc.). And I don't think it's feasible to have the population of the country administer its own justice. We don't have the social bonds and organizations to do that, here in America, and I'd argue in any advanced nation. Ergo, a police force is necessary.

    They ought not be trusted, they should not have immunity from prosecution, but they should exist. They should be funded by tax dollars (as opposed to extorting the public). This, I see as one of the lines between libertarian and anarcho-capitalists. Governmental force is necessary and useful, but never to be trusted.

  126. Joe Pullen  •  Nov 8, 2013 @6:21 am

    i hope heads will roll here but i'm sure everyone involved will be punished to the degree that they should.

    @Adam – I wish I could be sure but I doubt it. Somehow the cops will get immunity and the doctors will find all manner of excuses that they were just doing what they were told by the cops.

    @Ken – I am interested in one aspect though – in Texas for instance, due to recent tort "reform", there are significant limits in suing for malpractice. I'm assuming however, that this technically/legally extends beyond just suing for malpractice yes?

  127. SarahW  •  Nov 8, 2013 @7:32 am

    Rick H. • Nov 8, 2013 @1:28 am

    No. Medical. Benefit. No permission. Significant risks. In fact, contraindications if there is any reason to believe that there has been packet swallowing. What the doctor did was outside the scope of any accepted practice.

  128. Dana Thompson  •  Nov 8, 2013 @7:52 am

    William Grigg's coverage is excellent, as it has been for many cases of abusive police behaviour over the years. Notice the previous incident, on 9/6/2012, when Eckert was punished for "contempt of cop:" http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/ Grigg deserves much more recognition for what he does.

  129. Grandy  •  Nov 8, 2013 @8:01 am

    I agree with En Passant: the idea that merely flipping the government off will accomplish anything is naive.

    I'll need to see a citation of where Ken advocates "flipping off the government", or perhaps "doing something entirely symbolic", and that this is what he means when he says that we should "stand up to it".

    This government (not "my" government, for I choose to have nothing to do with it, and regard it as utterly illegitimate) has neither my allegiance, obedience, or respect.

    This statement is deeply ironic given the prior.

  130. James Pollock  •  Nov 8, 2013 @8:18 am

    ". I'm assuming however, that this technically/legally extends beyond just suing for malpractice yes?"
    It's not malpractice (which is a negligence tort). It's battery, which is an intentional tort.

  131. Loren  •  Nov 8, 2013 @8:31 am

    Is the ticket for not stopping at a stop sign even valid? It was issued by an officer who did not see the event. The few times that I have gotten a moving violation (speeding) (not in New Mexico), the ticket form was, in fact, a summons to appear in court on which the issuing officer is swearing out that he/she witnessed you violating the law stated at the time and place stated. How did this third officer lawfully sign the ticket? The officer, if called into court could not truthfully testify as to what occurred, the officer could only supply hear-say evidence. And I am not a lawyer and do understand the term testi-lie-ing

  132. QHS  •  Nov 8, 2013 @8:54 am

    James wrote:

    Imagine if, in one of the rapes, they had discovered that Eckert did, in fact, have narcotics secreted in his anal cavity.

    The man would be on trial – or already convicted, since this was almost two years ago. And his bleating about rape and torture would be seen as "another drug addict complaining about police mistreatment."

    News channel KOB4 reports that the traffic stop occurred on January 2, 2013.

  133. Trebuchet  •  Nov 8, 2013 @9:00 am

    It's pretty clear to me that Eckert was being targeted for a drug bust and the traffic stop was just an excuse to stop and search him.

  134. Canvasback  •  Nov 8, 2013 @9:09 am

    Ah, well. Just another day at the orifice for Deming police officers.

  135. Anonymous Coward  •  Nov 8, 2013 @9:11 am

    Not enough calls for the doctors to lose their licenses. The cops are obviously criminal, but I'm not really surprised by that these days. Those doctors, though, should not be practicing anymore. According to the story, other doctors had the good sense to refuse the cops. If they all did so, the cops would have been thwarted.

  136. cyberpenguin  •  Nov 8, 2013 @9:23 am

    Disregarding the other issues, for those that aren't familiar with Deming, transporting Eckert 45 miles to another county may seem like hospital shopping or unusual. However, to understand the logic of going to the Gila Regional Medical Center in Silver City (not the logic of the warrant or the logic of ignoring the Deming doctor's protest) you have to understand the geography of this region of New Mexico.

    The two counties involved, Grant and Luna, are each bigger than several states. Combined with Dona Ana they're bigger than about 20% of the states. Deming (pop 14k) is the only city in Luna county. The only other villages are Columbus (pop 2k) and a couple of ghost towns. Silver City (pop 10k) is the closet city (45 minutes) and smaller but has generally better medical facilities in GRMC (if you ignore the discrepancy of judgement between the doctor in Deming and the doctors in Silver City). The next closest cities with medical facilities are Las Cruces (Dona Ana county, pop 100k, 60 minutes away), El Paso, Texas (102 miles away), and Tucson, Arizona (215 miles away).

    Given the sparseness of the hospitals in the area and Mimbres Memorial's generally poor reputation (not that GRMC's is stellar either), it is not unusual for someone in Deming to go to Silver City or Las Cruces for medical care.

    This is not to excuse the actions of the officers, attorneys, judges and doctors involved, but just to shed some light on why going 45 or 60 miles to another medical facility is not unusual in this area.

  137. anonymous  •  Nov 8, 2013 @9:40 am

    Regarding targeting for a drug bust, I suspect that this practice is much more common in this area than people care to discuss.

    The Deming PD are not the only ones utilizing flimsy excuses. I can state for a fact that the Dona Ana Sheriff's Office uses similar tactics in areas in neighboring Dona Ana county in areas that are rife with gangs, violence, drugs and DWI.

    To be specific I was stopped earlier this year when driving late at night near Vado, NM. The officer stated that I was doing 39 in a 35 and my license plate light wasn't bright enough. The area is know for random stops, so I actually had my cruise control set at 32. I was "let off" with a verbal warning to not speed and brighten my license plate light (although it's a stock GM bulb I replaced last year).

    Two years ago I was stopped near Dona Ana (village) New Mexico. That time was because my blinker wasn't on long enough during a right hand turn at a stop sign and because I was "weaving" around large potholes due to construction (the pavement at the intersection had been ripped up and was dirt with orange barrels so you didn't really have a choice). That time I was also let off with a warning to keep my blinker on longer.

  138. Loren  •  Nov 8, 2013 @9:53 am

    Note that the drug sniffing dog and deputy come from yet a third county, Hildago. Operating outside his normal jurisdiction, and if I read the map correctly, had to cross part of Grant county to get to Luna. I guess that there are joint operating agreements between the counties? But it was the Hildago deputy who (allegedly) made the statement that the victim here "was known" to carry drugs in his rectum. Operationally, I have problems with law enforcement operating in areas where they are not accountable to the elected officials of that area.

  139. Xando  •  Nov 8, 2013 @9:57 am

    New Mexico isn't standing well right now. Remember that Las Cruces, just an hour to the east, is where that poor unfortunate man Stephen Slevin spend two years in solitary confinement after being pulled over for DUI. Perhaps this man in Deming is lucky that the cops didn't throw him in solitary after the anal probes failed to work.

  140. Chris  •  Nov 8, 2013 @10:07 am

    Operationally, I have problems with law enforcement operating in areas where they are not accountable to the elected officials of that area.

    While law enforcement officers may be employed by a particular city or county they're generally certified at the state level and have authority throughout the entire state.

  141. cyberpenguin  •  Nov 8, 2013 @10:15 am

    @Loren: See my comments above on the sparse population of the area. Hidalgo county is larger than some states, but the largest "city" is Lordsburg with a population of 3k.

    If Grant county (Silver City, pop. 10k), Hidalgo county (Lordsburg, pop. 3k), Catron county (Reserve, pop. 387) and Luna county (Deming, pop. 14k) were combined they would be larger than Maryland, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, and Rhode Island.

    Combined, their population would be about 62k. Comparing that with the 8.8M of New Jersey, the 6.6M of Massachusetts, or even the 1M of tiny Rhode Island, by necessity of geographics and population density, things have to operate a little differently out here. Although, they shouldn't operate so differently that they result in this tragedy.

  142. Eric  •  Nov 8, 2013 @10:19 am

    My two cents as a physician: regardless of any legal considerations, what these physicians did was in all likelihood HIGHLY UNETHICAL.

    Whereas I can do relatively non-invasive things like give an injection of an antipsychotic medication to a patient over his objection (provided that the person cannot be redirected by other means and/or is a danger to himself or staff taking care of him), performing an invasive procedure (colonoscopy, surgery, lumbar puncture, etc) "over objection" is held to a much higher ethical standard. Generally, the threshold to justify putting some into or taking something out of a patient's body without his consent is that it be a life-saving intervention.

    The fact that these physicians would override this person's autonomy to make medical decisions, and expose him to risks from anesthesia and potential procedural complications (all without without any obvious benefit to him) is truly terrifying.

  143. Xoshe  •  Nov 8, 2013 @10:45 am

    I'm hoping someone could clarify one thing about this for me. The statute listed specifies that all medical procedures are not considered "criminal sexual penetration". Does performing medical procedures on a suspect that go beyond the scope of the warrant or situation cause the procedures to no longer be medical in nature? Or is the statute inferring something that I am just not understanding from the plain language writing?

  144. Duvane  •  Nov 8, 2013 @11:12 am

    @Xoshe

    The key word is "indicated". What was performed was something that resembles a medical procedure, but was not in any sense indicated. I'll rely on the OED–indicate: "In Medicine, To point out as a remedy or course of treatment". This procedure was clearly not performed as a remedy or treatment in any way, and so was not "medically indicated" as would be required to fall under the exception. (IANAL, obviously)

    The doctors involved in this travesty are absolute ogres, full stop. This is unquestionably a violation of their oaths and what ethics they are supposed to have. They should never practice again–if their commitment to their oath and ethics is this frail, what other corners are they cutting? And if they AMA is not willing to take a stand against this (considering how they've attempted to end-run the death penalty, for better or worse), then they truly are a bunch of spineless, worthless cowards.

  145. Anton Sherwood  •  Nov 8, 2013 @11:30 am

    This whole sorry mess could have been avoided if Eckert had said in the first place, "I was driving in good faith but didn't notice any stop sign."

  146. Xoshe  •  Nov 8, 2013 @11:34 am

    @Duvane: Thank you. I was thinking something along those lines, but I wasn't sure if the term meant that it was directed (ie they were instructed to perform the procedure) or whether it meant it was in furtherance of care (ie it was part of a series of procedures meant to resolve something specific).

  147. Loren  •  Nov 8, 2013 @11:59 am

    I understand large spaces and low populations, I grew up in Montana.

    While peace officers may be licensed at a state level, it seems that they used to be generally prohibited from acting in an official capacity outside their home jurisdiction, unless in hot pursuit, etc.

    This is also why the question of the warrants validity outside the home county arises. Most, I think, would not want a county level court, say in Tucson, issuing search warrants for Deming. To allow that, would endorse "court shopping" for law enforcement.

  148. Trent  •  Nov 8, 2013 @1:02 pm

    The DR's in this case were not engaged in the practice of medicine. They were engaged in law enforcement. I seriously doubt their malpractice insurance will even cover them and I hope he is able to bankrupt them and get their licenses removed. The lack of medical ethics in this case is appalling and the medical professionals involved shouldn't be practicing medicine any longer.

    Colonoscopies are not trivial procedures, they are dangerous invasive surgical procedures that can and do result in death and should only be used where medically necessary. Add in the fact that general anesthesia is used and the procedure is doubly dangerous, several percent of people exposed to general anesthesia have dangerous and life altering complications.

  149. Allen  •  Nov 8, 2013 @1:35 pm

    This wasn't about the War on Drugs IMO. This man was targeted by local law enforcement and it was nothing more, nor less, than terrorism. If I read all of the material correctly he was first stopped in Sept 2012 for a cracked windshield. They proceeded to search his vehicle and his person.

    Then 4 months later he was stopped again for a traffic infraction, and we all now know what happened. He didn't get the message the first time, so they escalated. For whatever reason they want this guy to stay out of Deming. Though not to this degree this happens quite frequently in many mountain state counties. The Sherriff and his deputies are a law unto themselves.

    As far as New Mexico goes, yep seen it before. Friends of mine have ranches in Catron and Socorro Counties, and I've spent a lot of time there. In fact I was on a round-up with my friend at his ranch in Catron County just 6 weeks ago. Were not just talking rural we're talking wilderness.

    But then, in my part of California, Kern County, the same sort of attitude can prevail. Believe me when I say it, once you get on the Kern County Sherriff's shit-list you have a world of hurt coming your way. Your best bet would be to move.

    I know, I know, people say it shouldn't have to be that way, and I agree wholeheartedly. But, until you get the voters in those counties to dial back the tough on crime attitude it's not going to happen.

  150. SarahW  •  Nov 8, 2013 @1:52 pm

    the medical professionals involved shouldn't be practicing medicine any longer.

    Amen.

  151. rea  •  Nov 8, 2013 @2:42 pm

    The involvement of Hidalgo County officers and the drug dog is as strikeing. There's nothing much in Hidalgo except Lordsburg, about 50 miles away from Deming. The uspect is from Lordsburg, but has come to Deming to go to he walmart So, on a routine traffic stop, with no real evidence of anything, they bring the drug dog from 50 miles away?

  152. Dave  •  Nov 8, 2013 @3:25 pm

    A good personal injury lawyer ought to be able to get several hundred thousand dollars out of this. The officer(s) were acting ultra vires of their powers when they traveled outside the bounds of the county and continued their search beyond the time specified. The doctor(s) and medical facility are also liable for injuries – pain, suffering, and humiliation.

    Eckert does himself a great disservice by adjudicating this in the court of public opinion. He needs an aggressive Tort Lawyer to fight this in a big city courtroom in front of a jury, with millions of dollars on the line.

  153. Meneleous  •  Nov 8, 2013 @3:25 pm

    Taking a look at the public profile of the ringleader in this – officer chavez – some thing are very apparent. 1. He leads their swat team 2. He is former military. 3. He is possibly a sociopath given his glib posts of meme's regarding the killing of other people.

    https://www.facebook.com/robert.chavez.5095… – cop A

    https://www.facebook.com/david.arredondo.7359… – cop B

    https://www.facebook.com/dandougherty29?fref=browse_search – DA

    https://www.facebook.com/okayodocha?fref=ts – DR 1

    http://www.grmc.org/Doctor-Directory/W/Robert-M-Wilcox-M-D-.aspx – DR 2

  154. Wfjag  •  Nov 8, 2013 @3:32 pm

    It's not a med mal suit. It's a suit for deprivation of constitutional rights under color of state law. No need to go before the med revu panel.

  155. azteclady  •  Nov 8, 2013 @3:38 pm

    It should terrify us all–but until the big press gives these incidents big airtime, the majority of the population remains blissfully (and perhaps even willfully) ignorant of just how often these abuses actually happen–and just how far will police, TSA and the like will push the boundaries of their authority.

  156. Paul  •  Nov 8, 2013 @3:44 pm

    Go after them in every court you can. Stay on it till they pay and pay and pay.

    None of them need to be in law enforcement nor in medicine. Let them find another job.

  157. Tim!  •  Nov 8, 2013 @4:17 pm

    It keeps happening!
    http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/11/06/second-anal-probe-lawsuit-filed-against-nm-police

    "Timothy Young was stopped on Oct. 13, 2012, for allegedly turning without a signal, KOB-TV first reported Tuesday evening. A K-9 dog erroneously indicated he had drugs in his vehicle and he was taken to the Gila Regional Medical Center in Silver City, N.M., where doctors performed an x-ray scan and a digital anal probe."

  158. MC  •  Nov 8, 2013 @4:30 pm

    Tim! beat me to it. I was just reading an article that sounded awfully familiar to this and then read the name "Gila Regional Medical Center", seems they are turning this into a business as the article states that they sent Tim Young a $600 bill for his police sanctioned anal probing… Much cheaper than Eckert's $6000 bill…

  159. Matthew Cline  •  Nov 8, 2013 @6:07 pm

    @Loren

    Note that the drug sniffing dog and deputy come from yet a third county, Hildago. Operating outside his normal jurisdiction, and if I read the map correctly, had to cross part of Grant county to get to Luna. I guess that there are joint operating agreements between the counties?

    This is just a guess, but (assuming that a cop from Hildago actually did tell the Deming cop anything) I think that it's likely one of two things happened:

    1) The cop from Hildago told the cop from Deming "if you ever stop a guy named Eckert, search his rectum for drugs", or

    2) While the car was stopped, the cop from Deming was calling cops from other counties and asking them "you know anything about Eckert?"

  160. AlphaCentauri  •  Nov 8, 2013 @6:10 pm

    the article states that they sent Tim Young a $600 bill for his police sanctioned anal probing… Much cheaper than Eckert's $6000 bill…

    Eckert's procedure probably was more complete, with so many enemas during the prep…

    But seriously, how do they get a gastroenterologist to go along with doing this at 1 am? They had to call in staff in the middle of the night for something that could have waited for morning. It doesn't add up. There's nothing in it for them.

    Do the doctors get a kickback from the money the cops take in from drug seizures? We've seen "Cash for Kids;" might this be "Bucks for Buttfucks?" Just get a dog trained to alert to the driver's seat of a car.

    And if there were bags of drugs in his colon that needed to come out for some reason, is a colonoscopy a safe way to retrieve them, or is there more risk of spilling the contents into the colon? The doctors have a limited arsenal of little tools that can be threaded up the colonoscope to grab things, and they might tear the bag in the process. It's very common for polyps to come out in pieces when retrieved by colonoscopy, for instance.

  161. SimpleMachine  •  Nov 8, 2013 @6:32 pm

    Well, personally, I think I'd want a fairly large quantum of proof for New Mexico to rape me.

  162. Frank Rizzo  •  Nov 8, 2013 @6:40 pm

    The rapist doctor is a Nigerian immigrant. Unknown what his immigration status is, but one can only hope he's still at a point in the process where losing his job means he has to go home to live the remainder of his life sending emails about his uncle's $25 million inheritance.

  163. George  •  Nov 8, 2013 @6:49 pm

    Often It's an eggageration to say "police state tatics". But in this case, it's quite true

  164. anonymous  •  Nov 8, 2013 @8:48 pm

    This isn't the first time this has happened in this area. This is from 2011:

    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/44416054/#.Un2wL3VDulg

  165. Mimi  •  Nov 8, 2013 @9:15 pm

    The thing that most astounds me about this whole atrocity is that the cops didn't "find" a bag of weed "concealed" somewhere in the victim's clothing-they actually admitted nothing was found on/in the victim. No "throw-down baggie", what were they thinking????

    They are probably the LAST cops that will make that mistake…

  166. Anton Sherwood  •  Nov 8, 2013 @10:12 pm

    I'm curious about who first used the words "x-ray" and "enema" and "another enema" and "colonoscopy". Did the cops suggest each procedure, or did the helpful experts say "Sure, there is another thing we can try"?

    Rizzo: Wilcox is Nigerian?

  167. Frank Rizzo  •  Nov 8, 2013 @11:26 pm

    Wilcox was the perp for 1-2. Odocha the Nigerian was called in for 3-8.

  168. Rich  •  Nov 9, 2013 @2:56 am

    I have read stories about George Washington's passion for individual liberty. I believe he would have personally executed any soldier or police who did such a thing to a civilian.

  169. SarahW  •  Nov 9, 2013 @9:33 am

    "And if there were bags of drugs in his colon that needed to come out for some reason, is a colonoscopy a safe way to retrieve them, or is there more risk of spilling the contents into the colon?"

    Colonoscopy/retrieval is not only not standard practice, it is contraindicated and could injure or kill the person subjected to the procedure.

  170. David C  •  Nov 9, 2013 @10:00 am

    A warrant premised on material false information is invalid.

    That is not QUITE what the link indicates.

    Held: Where the defendant makes a substantial preliminary showing that a false statement knowingly and intentionally, or with reckless disregard for the truth, was included by the affiant in the warrant affidavit, and if the allegedly false statement is necessary to the finding of probable cause, the Fourth Amendment, as incorporated in the Fourteenth Amendment, requires that a hearing be held at the defendant's request.

    "[W]hen the Fourth Amendment demands a factual showing sufficient to comprise 'probable cause,' the obvious assumption is that there will be a 'truthful showing' (emphasis in original). This does not mean 'truthful' in the sense that every fact recited in the warrant affidavit is necessarily correct, for probable cause may be founded upon hearsay and upon information received from informants, as well as upon information within the affiant's own knowledge that sometimes must be garnered hastily. But surely it is to be 'truthful' in the sense that the information put forth is believed or appropriately accepted by the affiant as true.

    According to this, it doesn't matter if the information was false, but only if the officer swearing out the affidavit believed it, right? It requires knowledge of falsity or a reckless regard for the truth. So then we'd have to determine whether officer 1 lied when he said officer 2 made the statement (or whether he believed officer 2.) Seems rather difficult to prove one way or the other. I'd rather challenge this on other, better grounds.

  171. Potrillo  •  Nov 9, 2013 @1:36 pm

    Here is what happened. Not excusing it, mind you, but reading all the links here and other places, here is what I think happened. I also am former law enforcement in the region.
    It is obvious to me that Mr. Eckert was being watched, or at least a residence that he recently came from in Deming was. I think that is why the detective instructed a marked unit to stop him for the alleged traffic infraction. At this point, information was exchanged as his ID was run through radio, someone recognized his name and game was on, probably because he came from a known meth/drug supplier. The confusion about why the K9 handler and some of the other officers that were from the next county west, namely Hidalgo, can be explained by the fact that said officers were part of the Border Task Force. Again, probably tasked with surveilling numerous locations in the Deming area that day. These task forces derive the major portion of their operational funds from the feds. SOP all along the border area, and the only thing I am surprised of is no Fed on scene. Probably was but they had the good sense to split.

  172. Drakkenmensch  •  Nov 9, 2013 @3:24 pm

    So New Mexico police is justified to do anything that they FEEL is justified?

    Nixon also believed that "if he [the president] did it, it's not illegal." History proved him to be terribly, terribly wrong about that.

  173. Anton Sherwood  •  Nov 9, 2013 @3:28 pm

    Nixon paid for his crimes more heavily than (it seems) most other corrupt officers do, but still …

  174. Shropshire Blue  •  Nov 9, 2013 @10:00 pm

    Colonoscopies do carry a risk of death. Normally that risk is justified by the medical benefit of catching an early cancer. There is a 5 in 1000 risk of major complications including major surgery to repair perforation damage. And death can occur from the operation or from the anesthetic.

    Also, would not a sigmoidoscopy be sufficient. A sigmoidoscopy does the lower 24 inches (approx) of the bowel. A colonoscopy does the 63 inches (approx).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonoscopy#Risks

  175. Trebuchet  •  Nov 10, 2013 @9:00 am

    @Frank Rizzo:

    The rapist doctor is a Nigerian immigrant.

    To me, that means he may be more vulnerable to intimidation by the cops than the usual American doctor.

    Unknown what his immigration status is, but one can only hope he's still at a point in the process where losing his job means he has to go home to live the remainder of his life sending emails about his uncle's $25 million inheritance.

    That strikes me as slightly racist.

  176. AC  •  Nov 10, 2013 @10:00 am

    Maybe New Mexico is trying to position themselves as the preferred vacation spot for homosexual bondage fetishists?

  177. Olle Gladso  •  Nov 10, 2013 @12:53 pm

    What surprises me is that the officers did not "conveniently" find drugs.

  178. TheGhostofBelleStarr  •  Nov 10, 2013 @2:04 pm

    I'm surprised this caliber of cop didn't in the end ( no pun intended) plant some dope to make the case after it went this far and they came up empty handed.

  179. TheGhostofBelleStarr  •  Nov 10, 2013 @2:07 pm

    @Shropshire Blue
    Yes…indeed there are risks with colonoscopies. My nephew had a routine colonoscopy and they perforated his colon, he was then hospitalized for over a week for repair and recoup.

  180. gjsmith_62  •  Nov 10, 2013 @4:32 pm

    Mr Popehat,
    I've been here before and know we're not necessarily on the same side politically. That said, every piece I've read here are excellent examples of concise and reasonable defenses of the Constitution and the Rule of Law.

    Thank You. It is time for both sides of the isle to call for an end to the "War on Drugs". End the DEA and the idea that SWAT teams are needed for the Dept of Ed.

  181. En Passant  •  Nov 10, 2013 @4:41 pm

    TheGhostofBelleStarr wrote Nov 10, 2013 @2:04 pm:

    I'm surprised this caliber of cop didn't in the end ( no pun intended) plant some dope to make the case after it went this far and they came up empty handed.

    Once they transported him to the hospital, there were too many non-cop witnesses. The docs, even though they were as culpable as any of the cops, might not support a cop's fabrications about finding it in the OR, or support it consistently enough with the cops' story. The docs aren't part of the blue brotherhood.

    If they were going to plant evidence reliably, they would have dropped a bag at the scene. They probably forgot to bring a throwdown bag.

  182. melK  •  Nov 11, 2013 @11:55 am

    After conducting a solid search of the truck inside and out and finding no evidence of illegal narcotics or drug paraphenalia, we secured the truck and left the area.

    After opening up the door panels and the head liner, maybe also tearing up the dashboard, they secured the truck and left.

    So Mr Eckert also has to pay to get his truck restored?

  183. dan  •  Nov 11, 2013 @2:35 pm
  184. flip  •  Nov 11, 2013 @5:08 pm

    Ken, you missed one "what's terrifying…" and that is:

    What's terrifying is that the doctors forgot their oath and chose to obey the warrants over the obvious need to protect the patient's rights. (I see now others have mentioned this in the comments; and am glad that the first hospital refused. And even more disappointed that the second one didn't)

    Outside of that, every word of the article I agree with. Especially as I have no words of my own to express how truly despicable this is.

    … Yikes, and now I see there is a pattern with new allegations. *shakes head*

  185. Eli Rabett  •  Nov 11, 2013 @7:50 pm

    There is a dog not barking furiously here. The reaction of the medics in town is a fairly good indication that these fishing expeditions were very common practice and they simply did not want to go up any dry holes anymore (ok, it was hard to resist, but the point remains).

    Eckard's lawyer is going to get those docs on the stand and their testimony could blow the whole town away. Also the point about the colonoscopy being exactly the thing you don't want to do if there are drugs in the anus will strand the Gila medical center.

  186. Anton Sherwood  •  Nov 11, 2013 @8:17 pm

    But is Eckard a replicant or not?

  187. En Passant  •  Nov 12, 2013 @8:11 am

    Eli Rabett wrote Nov 11, 2013 @7:50 pm:

    Eckard's lawyer is going to get those docs on the stand and their testimony could blow the whole town away. Also the point about the colonoscopy being exactly the thing you don't want to do if there are drugs in the anus will strand the Gila medical center.

    If the suit goes to trial. I doubt it will, simply because most violation of civil rights cases settle out of court. If plaintiffs' allegations are true, defendants likely will be scurrying to settle for big bucks without admitting to any wrongdoing, because civil trial testimony could become basis for criminal prosecution if the state's AG wants to prosecute them.

  188. Clyde X  •  Nov 14, 2013 @9:44 am

    Throughout human history one of the hallmarks of massive governments has been rise of what I like to call "jack-booted thugs". My personal theory is that massive governments like massive police forces. The problem with that is, not everyone is cut out to be a cop. The pool of good candidates is obviously far smaller than the demand. As someone whose life has been threatened for the seemingly innocent crime of running out of gas on the interstate – two Louisville Metro cops blocked rush hour, interstate traffic and drew down on me before even asking me why I was walking down the emergency lane – I can certainly empathize and sympathize with David Eckert. The cops are obviously not blameless but, bullies are going to be bullies. The thing that mystifies me is that actual doctors would go along with this nonsense. I hope he sues the doctors into the homeless shelter.

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