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Deming, N.M. - Most drivers would likely expect to get a stern warning, or at worst a traffic ticket, from a police officer for failing to make a complete stop at a stop sign.
But for a New Mexico man, it instead turned into a 14-hour-long humiliating and invasive police goose chase for illegal drugs -- that is, according to a federal lawsuit filed against law-enforcement and other parties.
According to KOB-TV, David Eckert says he was leaving a shopping plaza parking lot when he was pulled over by Deming police.
Officers claim that after they asked Eckert to step out of the vehicle, "he appeared to be clenching his buttocks." Investigators also claim a police dog alerted them to the scent of drugs on Eckert's car seat.
According to the lawsuit, the officers then claimed they had enough probable cause to suspect that Eckert was hiding "narcotics in his anal cavity."
Eckert says he was then taken to a nearby emergency room to have the invasive search completed. When a doctor at that facility refused, police took Eckert to another medical center willing to conduct the procedure.
The lawsuit says Eckert was then forced to undergo a laundry list of medical procedures in the officers' effort to find drugs:
- His abdominal area was X-rayed.
- Two digital examinations were performed by doctors.
- Three separate enemas and being forced to "defecate in front of doctors and police" on numerous occasions.
- Another X-ray and finally a colonoscopy were performed
The lawsuit states that narcotics were never found despite the rigorous examinations. It also claims that at no time did Eckert give his permission for the medical procedures.
Additionally, Eckert's attorney says the search warrant used to justify the searches was not valid in the county her client was examined in.
Eckert is suing the city of Deming, three individual Deming police officers, several county sheriff's deputies, a district attorney and the medical facility that performed the procedures.