Screenshot: Soup Visions

A Washington, D.C., resident has filed a lawsuit against a Metropolitan DC police officer alleging that the cop violated this citizen’s constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure during an impromptu stop, frisk and rectal examination.

According to court documents filed on behalf of M.B. Cottingham by the American Civil Liberties Union, Cottingham was celebrating his birthday with friends on September 17, 2017. The group was sitting in folding chairs on the sidewalk when two Metro DC police cars pulled up.

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Although the men had just opened a bottle of alcohol, the police could not see it from the street, as it was behind a parked car. Instead, the officers asked the men if they had guns, to which all of the men responded negatively.

Cottingham picked up the bottle of liquor and asked the police officers if they wanted him to pour it out. While D.C. police might be assholes, they are not known for wantonly abusing alcohol, so they told Cottingham that it was not necessary (Thank God).

Also, perhaps “asshole” was a poor choice of words in this specific story.

Officer Sean Lojacono, whose name sounds like it was picked out a list of baby names for future cops, asked Cottingham what he had in his sock. Cottingham pulled out a baggie that contained less than an eighth of marijuana, described in the civil complaint as “a quantity that a person may legally possess under District law.”

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Cottingham then asked Lojocano if the cop needed him to do “the hokey pokey”—street slang for lifting up one’s shirt and slowly turning around—to prove that he wasn’t armed. When Cottingham spread his legs, turned away from the officer and prepared to be searched, Lojacono then ... You know what? I think I should hand this part over to the official complaint:

Officer Lojacono did not begin by patting down Mr. Cottingham’s torso or legs.

Instead, Officer Lojacono reached immediately between Mr. Cottingham’s legs, grabbed his scrotum, felt around with his hand, and stuck his thumb in Mr. Cottingham’s anus.

Several officers and all of Mr. Cottingham’s friends looked on as the search proceeded in public, between the curb and the sidewalk of Atlantic Street.

Mr. Cottingham was deeply uncomfortable with and humiliated by Officer Lojacono’s probing, which continued for several seconds in the area between his buttocks and on and around his scrotum.

Mr. Cottingham had no weapon or anything else in that area that could have been mistaken for a weapon.

After approximately three seconds of Officer Lojacono’s search, Mr. Cottingham protested, exclaiming to his friends, “He grabbin’ my shit!”

With Officer Lojacono’s finger in his anus, Mr. Cottingham then flinched and turned part of the way back around toward Officer Lojacono, protesting, “Come on, man! Come on, man! Hold! You stuck a finger in my ass!”

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After Cottingham objected, the amateur urologist handcuffed the suspect, told the birthday boy to spread his legs and continued his search, again conducting an unlicensed rectal checkup until Cottingham couldn’t take it and screamed: “Come on! Stop fingering me, bruh!”

And then Lojacono, the human buttplug did it again, prompting ... You know what? I’m just going to let you watch the video of the incident:

After finding nothing on Cottingham, the officers poured out the bottle of alcohol onto the sidewalk (I pray to God it wasn’t brown liquor), got in their respective police vehicles and drove away, shouting: “How y’all doing? World Star?” over the loudspeakers in the police cruiser. (That last part is not a joke. It’s actually in the lawsuit and the video.)

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The suit alleges that Cottingham has suffered emotional and anal distress as well as anxiety, depression and discomfort during bowel movements. No one was charged in the incident and Cottingham, who owned an ice cream truck, says he still feels anxiety around police officers and had trouble going to work in the aftermath of the incident.

The lawsuit is against Lojacono as an individual, not the police department, and does not specify damages nor an amount for the wasted liquor.

When the Root analyzed Washington D.C.’s stop and frisk data from 2017, we found that Metro area cops stopped and frisked 4,234 people last year. Of the 3,966 stop-and-frisk cases where police recorded the race of the suspect, 3542 (or 89.3 percent) were black and only 397 (or 10 percent), were white.

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According to Census Reporter, the District of Columbia is 46 percent black and 36 percent white.

When Reached for comment, Sean “Stinky Fingers” Lojacono did not say:

“My bad. I didn’t know what ‘Hokey Pokey’ meant.”

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