Clarence Green was driving in his car on New Year’s Day last year when he was pulled over by a police officer in Baton Rouge, La. The ensuing traffic stop was anything but routine as the officer proceeded to publicly strip search Green and his 16-year-old brother. Over a year later, the city of Baton Rouge has reached a $35,000 settlement with the Green family over the incident.
CBS News reports that in addition to strip searching the two, body camera footage shows officers entering their home without a search warrant, with guns drawn. The officers allegedly found drugs and guns during the search, resulting in Green spending five months in jail. He was eventually released when a judge ordered for his “immediate release,” after finding that the officers “demonstrated a serious and wanton disregard for Defendant’s constitutional rights.”
“What’s captured in the video bears a closer resemblance to sexual assault than it does to constitutional policing. The officers involved were clearly outside the bounds of anything that the Supreme Court has said is permissible for law enforcement officers to do,” Thomas Frampton, the Green family attorney, told CBS.
In his ruling, the judge also noted that the official police report of the incident had been revised over nearly a dozen times, which only further drives home the feeling that the officer knew he fucked up.
What makes this even more frustrating is that the Baton Rouge Police Department have said they conducted an internal investigation into the incident, but the officers still have their jobs and it’s unclear if they’ve faced any discipline.
The reason people have such a growing distaste for cops is that they all seem to think they’re above consequences. That by virtue of wearing a badge, their bad behavior should be looked past. It’s bad enough that they went against protocol and entered someone’s home without a warrant. What really crosses the line, in my opinion, is the fact that they publicly strip searched a 16-year-old boy.
They broke the rules, violated a child, cost the city money, and yet it’s still doubtful these officers will face significant consequences. Why should anyone trust cops if they’re just going to behave in a manner that’s just as abhorrent as criminals, or look the other way when it happens?
Simply wearing a badge doesn’t mean shit. It’s what you do while you’re wearing it, and historically, cops haven’t exactly shown themselves to be people of moral fortitude.