If you’ve been on Facebook lately, you’ve probably seen the article circulating about two Texas women who have been pulled over for littering–chucking a cigarette butt out the window–and ultimately end up getting road-side cavity searches because the cop smelled marijuana. The two women have sued, officers have been fired, and basic health safety has been discussed because the same set of gloves was used on both women for both cavities.
Let me explain this even more clearly: two woman are pulled over at night on a busy Texas highway. One of them threw a cigarette butt out of the window of the car. (Honestly, I see this happen so often here in Chiburbia that I didn’t even know it was a crime. I might have to do some citizen arrests of my own!) The officer smells marijuana, but doesn’t search the car. Instead, he calls in a female officer who comes to do the cavity searches. Donning one pair of gloves, she probes the vaginas and anuses of both women, without ever changing the gloves. On the road, as cars drive by. All while being recorded by the dashboard camera. No marijuana is ever found. No arrests are made. Except those of the cops.
Where to even begin? There are so many things wrong with this and other people have done the finger pointing and head banging. But my ultimate question is this: what if this happens to you or I? What are our options right at that moment?
I imagine if I refuse the roadside cavity search/gynecological exam, that I will be instantly hauled off to jail. Do I avoid the embarrassment and inconvenience of an arrest and let them probe me? Do I put up a fight? I can’t exactly call the police…since they are the ones doing the initial wrong thing.
What would you do? How would you handle this?
I think this is something we really need to address and be prepared for. Because these things are happening. What do we teach our daughters? What do we teach our sons?
Most of all, when did the police stop being the good guys?