Perhaps most horrifying is that a hospital and its medical staff actively went along with this. The El Paso Times reports:
In a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday in El Paso by the American Civil Liberties Union, a 54-year-old New Mexico woman claims that she underwent a brutal six-hour full-body cavity search by federal officers that included anal and vaginal probes that made her feel like an “animal.”
The woman also is suing University Medical Center, where while handcuffed she was forced to have an observed bowel movement, was X-rayed, had a speculum exam, vaginal exam and had a CT scan. The suit claims the hospital then gave her the $5,000 bill. Despite the six-hour search at the [border] and then later at UMC, no drugs were found.
The search took place when the woman was coming back from seeing a family friend, whom she calls “uncle” and tries to visit once a month. As her passport was swiped, a CBP officer told her she was “randomly” picked for a secondary inspection.
Then the woman was told to stand in a line with other people as a drug-sniffing dog walked by. The dog lunged and “hit the ground by her feet, but did not hit the ground by any of the others in the line,” the lawsuit said. This was [not] a proper signal to indicate drugs were present, but officers used it to continue the search.
The woman was taken to another room and asked to take off her pants and crouch as her anus and vagina were examined with a flashlight, the lawsuit said. The woman, now crying, was taken to University Medical Center after the strip search did not find anything.
While handcuffed to an examination table, the woman was searched again by officers. She was given a laxative and had a bowel movement in a portable toilet in front of both officers, the lawsuit said.
Then the woman’s abdomen was X-rayed, but there were no signs of drugs or any other contraband in the woman’s body. The last test was a CT scan of the woman’s abdomen and pelvis, which resulted in no evidence of illegal activity being found.
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