Image Credit: framingham.digication.com
Disclaimer: This post contains strong language and graphic descriptions of human anatomy.
My friend Justin told me about this story earlier this week. He couldn’t believe it, and neither could I. It makes me sick, but I want to bring awareness to this. I’m certain that this isn’t the first time something like this has happened.
Buckle up your fucking seat belts, people. This is one bat-shit crazy story.
Here’s the scenario:
You’re a young woman, driving to the store one night to get medicine for your sick mother. You get pulled over by a local sheriff’s deputy, for allegedly running a stop sign. The male officer says he smells marijuana. You’re handcuffed, placed in the officer’s patrol car, and the officer searches your car.
Then, the situation escalates to where a female officer is called to the scene, called in to perform a body cavity search.
That means the female officer was called to search your vagina for the suspected weed.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Would you believe me if I told you that scenario actually happened?
In the end, after being handcuffed and forced to drop your pants IN PUBLIC for said digital search of your vagina, the officers found just 0.02 ounces of marijuana.
Don’t believe me?
The woman’s name is Charnesia Corley. She’s 21-years-old.
Let’s clarify one thing first: There have been conflicting reports / quotes regarding the type of search that Corley endured. Some have said strip search. Many have said body cavity search.
A body cavity search is either a visual search or a manual internal inspection of body cavities such as for prohibited material (contraband), such as illegal drugs, money, jewelry, or weapons.
Body cavities include the nostrils, ears, mouth, navel, penis or vagina, and rectum.
This is far more invasive than the standard strip search, which “is typically performed on individuals taken into custody, either upon police arrest or incarceration at a jail, prison, or psychiatric hospital.”
Back to Corley now. This woman has been speaking her mind since the incident on June 21st, and rightfully so.
The deputies claim she resisted when the female officer told Corley to pull her pants down. Corley responded to the female deputy that she did not have any underwear on. The deputy replied that didn’t matter, pulled Corley’s pants down for her, and told her to bend over. As the deputy stuck her fingers in Corley’s vagina, Corley attempted to stand upright, claiming that the deputy could not do this. The deputy’s response to that, according to Corley, was that “she [the deputy] could do what she wanted because it was a narcotics search.”
At the end of all of this insanity, Corley was charged with resisting arrest and possession of marijuana.
Hold the phone, stop right there.
First of all, this search was conducted in a gas station parking lot, around 10:30 p.m. on the night of June 21st. I understand the searching of the car; that’s normal, standard procedure. Law enforcement is allowed to conduct this, so long as the driver of the vehicle gives consent to do so.
Calling for backup is also standard procedure. Calling for a female deputy is also standard, when a search of a female suspect is needed.
HOWEVER – Conducting a body cavity search, in public, for anyone to see?! That’s breaking the fucking law. How ironic.
Many of the links I’ve provided have quotes from Corley’s attorney and others:
“… Unconstitutional …”
“… Blatant violation of the Fourth Amendment …”
“… A clear violation of common protocol for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office …”
The search was conducted “without a warrant …”
You’re damn right.
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution states:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,[a] against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Corley was a victim of unreasonable search and seizure, plain and simple!
Here was one kicker for me:
“To perform a cavity search, deputies should arrest a suspect and take them to an HSCO substation,” the Houston Chronicle noted. “Headquarters downtown even boasts a microwave scanner that can perform the task without intrusion.”
WHAT THE HELL?
This poor woman. Yes, she was arrested. However, she wasn’t transported to a substation. She was clearly, in my mind, assaulted by these deputies.
To me, none of these three deputies for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office gave a fucking shit about this woman. They blatantly ignored her constitutional rights and publicly humiliated her! They should have stopped the search IMMEDIATELY when Corley protested, saying, “Ma’am, you cannot do this.”
Corley is 21. I can tell, from afar, that she has been traumatized by this horrific ordeal.
However, I’m glad she’s said something. She’s been interviewed multiple times by numerous sources. CNN picked it up on Thursday, so it’s gone international now.
And you know what? That’s a good thing. This should be international news.
Multiple lawsuits have been filed. The ACLU is involved.
I hope, for the love of God, that these deputies get fired. I hope that policies and procedures are reviewed, scrutinized, and CHANGED. They need to be reinforced – Drilled into every deputy’s head.
No wonder citizens are having trouble trusting those in law enforcement.
I hope this story doesn’t fade away. I truly hope Corley gets the justice she deserves.
I hope, once all the legal matters are sorted out, that the media covers it again. I hope it goes international again, honestly.
She’s made her voice heard, and now it’s time for her to be supported. It’s beyond time for change.
What do you think? I’d love to hear your comments.
Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂