Disturbing video from a police dashcam, which reportedly showed an 11-minute search of a woman’s vaginal area in public, has reignited an outcry against the Texas cops.
Charges have been dropped against two Harris County deputies who were indicted after the strip and cavity search of then-21-year-old college student, Charneisha Corley, during a traffic stop two years ago. A third police officer involved was never charged at all, according to Fox 26.
On August 4, the day the case was set for trial, charges were dismissed but then quickly re-presented within minutes to a grand jury with “new evidence” according to the District Attorney’s office.
Sam Cammack, Corley’s attorney, said police crossed the line in their determination to find something to use against the young woman at the time.
“A 21-year-old African-American, female, college student, had never had any criminal history never been in trouble,” Cammack told Fox 26. “One of the officers on the tape, he was talking to a passenger who was already in custody in the officer’s car and you could hear him telling that individual ‘Oh we are going to find something, even if we have to put our hands on her.'”
Still images from the video showed Corley in handcuffs while deputies searched her car. They then allegedly searched her clothing, but still found nothing.
“This same officer body slammed Miss Corley, stuck her head underneath the vehicle and completely pulled her pants off, leaving her naked and exposed in that Texaco parking lot,” Cammack continued, describing the harrowing ordeal as “rape by Cop”.
“They then took Miss Corley and placed both ankles behind her ears spread eagle position and started to search for something in Miss Corley’s cavity in her vaginal area,” he said.
That search lasted an entire 11 minutes, according to Fox 26.
Harris County prosecutor Natasha Sinclair was asked by Fox 26 if “cavity searching” suspects in public amounted to a criminal offense.
“No one in this office stands by the search the way it was conducted. No one condones that. No one thinks it’s appropriate. It should not have happened,” Harris said. “However bad decisions, bad judgment may not rise the level of a criminal offense.”
Cammack hopes that a special prosecutor who has no ties to Harris County law enforcement will be brought in to handle the case now that new indictments may be announced.
“I feel terrible for what happened to Miss Corley,” Sinclair told Fox 26. “It should never have happened and unfortunately we are in the business of prosecuting criminal offenses and though it may not be criminal, it doesn’t mean she won’t receive justice.”
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