Illustration for article titled Texas Sheriff’s Deputy Arrested for Conducting Illegal Strip Searches on 6 Women in 11 Days
Photo: Bexar County Sheriff’s Office

A Texas sheriff’s deputy has been charged with three misdemeanor counts of official oppression for allegedly conducting illegal strip searches on six women over a span of 11 days.

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The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office placed Floyd Berry on administrative duty recently, after several people “made outcries” about the searches to the department’s internal affairs unit, reports ABC News. After an investigation into the claims, authorities arrested the 49-year-old Berry on Saturday. Berry has also been served with a proposed termination, the sheriff’s office says.

According to an affidavit, Berry would pull women over at a San Antonio Shell gas station. He would take them into custody, only to pull his car over further down the road and tell the women to expose themselves to him, reports KENS-TV.

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The gas station owner Marivel Plaza called the allegations “scary,” telling KENS-TV reporters that Berry spent a lot of time in the gas station parking lot.

Berry, an 18-year veteran department, is accused of performing the illegal searches between Nov. 24 and Dec. 4, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. And Bexar County Sheriff Salazar says there could be even more victims.

“I don’t think that someone that’s been on patrol for that long, all of a sudden started acting up, searching someone improperly, illegally,” Salazar told KENS-TV. “I think this is something that has been going on for some time.”

Currently, the sheriff’s office is conducting both an administrative and criminal investigation into the allegations against Berry, and is asking anyone with pertinent information—be they additional victims of the officer, or have information regarding the current allegations—to contact them.

Staff writer, The Root.

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DISCUSSION

“I don’t think that someone that’s been on patrol for that long, all of a sudden started acting up, searching someone improperly, illegally,” Salazar told KENS-TV. “I think this is something that has been going on for some time.”

This is one of the most common sense-sounding things I’ve read after a cop is busted for breaking bad. Normally it’s a bunch of empty statements about investigations and not rushing to judgement while they gather all the facts, before they eventually find that the officer did nothing wrong. Now if only police departments would stop stop treating each of these “bad apples” as one-off, isolated incidents, and instead look at changing the toxic culture of their departments.