Two Texas women are suing the Texas Department of Public Safety for a "humiliating" full body cavity search they had to undergo after being pulled over for speeding. They recently sat down with news station HLN to recount that horrible day in 2012.
The two women, Alexandria Randle and Brandy Hamilton, both in their late 20s at the time, were returning from the beach on Memorial Day, after hanging out with friends and family, when they were stopped for speeding. The officer claimed to smell marijuana in the car and ordered them to step out of the vehicle. One of the women asked to put on a dress, since she was just in her bikini, but was told, "No, don’t worry about it."
The male trooper did find a small amount of marijuana in the car, according to HLN, and decided to call in a female officer to conduct a full body cavity search on the women.
"If you hid something in there, we are going to find it," the female officer could be heard saying in the video.
"You are going to go up my private parts?" one of the women could be heard asking in disbelief in the video.
"Yes, ma'am," the officer responded matter-of-factly.
Randle claims that, since the officer did not have gloves of her own, she had to borrow a glove from another officer and did not change it between the searches, something Randle called "very unsanitary and just really hurtful." No additional drugs were found in the search.
"It was extremely humiliating, especially with my entire family, including my 8-year-old nieces and my nephew … in the back of the car, and they saw all of this happening, as well as everybody on the side of the road," Randle told HLN. "I have a whole different feeling when I see police officers now. … It's a very touchy thing dealing with them.
"Me and … Brandy were very cooperative," she added. "[The police officer] was very disrespectful, especially because we were two women. I don't think that that was appropriate at all. It was very uncalled for."
Randle's attorney, Allie Booker, who appeared on HLN with her client, spoke about her own disbelief at the actions of the officers. "No way, no how. They're not even allowed to do cavity searches at the jail," she said when asked whether the handling of the incident was justified. "It's alarming to me. I actually cannot believe that they actually did it.
"I want to make sure that there’s no police officer anywhere in this United States that thinks that it’s OK to cavity-search women on the side of the road," Booker added. "Women are supposed to be protected, and it is horrible to think that riding on the side of the road the person that’s supposed to keep you safe would basically rape you."
The male officer was fired after the incident. The female officer was originally fired but later returned to the police force and was placed on a 60-day suspension without pay after a grand jury decided not to indict her.