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woman who was forced to strip naked

 
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Lilli
Cannabis Sacrament Minister
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 10:18 pm    Post subject: woman who was forced to strip naked Reply with quote

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Drug Policy : General

ACLU of Colorado Sues Local Drug Task Force on Behalf of Woman Forced to Strip Naked in Front of Her Neighbors


April 9, 2004


DENVER -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado today filed a lawsuit against the Denver North Metro Drug Task Force on behalf of a local woman who was forced to strip naked in the parking lot of her condominium in full view of her neighbors while male law enforcement officers conducted an unjustified, humiliating, and degrading "decontamination" ritual that had no legitimate purpose.

"This case presents one more example of how the war on drugs has become a war on the Constitution and basic human rights," said Mark Silverstein, Legal Director of the ACLU of Colorado.

According to the lawsuit, the woman - whose name is being withheld by the ACLU to protect her privacy -- was sitting in her second-floor bedroom doing homework for her art class when officers of the Northglenn/Thornton SWAT team and the task force suddenly broke down her door and burst into her home. They held her at gunpoint, handcuffed her, and then executed a warrant to search her premises for a purported methamphetamine laboratory that was never found and had never existed.

Besides failing to find a nonexistent drug lab, the lawsuit says, the search team also found no evidence of hazardous chemicals or dangerous volatile fumes that are associated with clandestine methamphetamine production. They did find a small quantity of drugs, and the plaintiff was arrested for possession.

"Because of the possibility of toxic and volatile chemicals, suspected methamphetamine labs are often treated as hazardous material sites," Silverstein explained. "Before taking drug lab suspects into custody, law enforcement officers routinely force them to strip naked and submit to a ‘decontamination’ procedure, often without adequate respect for their privacy or basic human dignity."

"But in this case," Silverstein said, "the search team had already determined that there was no methamphetamine lab or dangerous fumes. Therefore there was no legitimate law enforcement or public safety purpose that could possibly justify subjecting our client to this emotionally painful, embarrassing, degrading, and pointless ritual."

The "decontamination area" consisted of a small plastic children’s wading pool filled with cold water, surrounded by cloth tarps that gapped as they blew in the wind. The inside of the "enclosure" was visible not only to numerous male officers standing in the parking lot but also from the second-floor windows of the other residences in the housing complex.

The ACLU’s client was forced to stand naked in the pool, apply the cold water to her body and then dunk her head into the water. At least two male firefighters standing inside the small "enclosure" monitored the entire process while holding a hose and a brush. A third male law enforcement officer, watching through a gap in the tarps, issued orders directing each separate step of the "decontamination" ritual. Numerous additional male officers stood in the parking lot nearby where they could observe the woman naked as she shook and shivered from cold, fear, and humiliation.

The lawsuit, filed in federal district court in Denver, seeks a declaration that the SWAT team violated the woman’s Fourth Amendment rights by forcibly breaking into her home and carrying out the search as a "no-knock" raid without legal justification. The lawsuit also contends that the authorities violated the Fourth Amendment by inviting a private videographer with no law enforcement function to accompany them into woman’s home to film the events.

The ACLU is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for violations of their client’s right to privacy, right to bodily integrity, and her right to be free from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

In addition to the North Metro Drug Task Force, the defendants named in the lawsuit include the cities of Northglenn and Thornton; Lori Moriarty, Commander of the Task Force; Northglenn firefighters in charge of the "decontamination" process; and the on-site commander of the SWAT team.

Attorneys with the law firm of Perkins Coie are assisting the ACLU as cooperating attorneys on this case.

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Rev. Chazman
Cannabis Sacrament Minister
Cannabis Sacrament Minister


Joined: 15 Nov 2003
Posts: 1037
Location: Illinois - USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2004 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They should make all those bastards submit to the same treatment in thier OWN ersidences for THEIR neighbors to watch.. then they should pay $$$$$

Peace
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