Law enforcement — November 5, 2013 at 4:28 pm

New Mexico cops, doctors force man to undergo 12+ hour ordeal involving rectal probes after traffic stop – UPDATED x2


In America? Really?

NOTE: This post has been updated and the title corrected to give the correct duration of Mr. Ekert’s ordeal. The update is at the end of the post.

NOTE 2: This story has been updated HERE with another man coming forward with a similar nightmarish story to David Eckert’s.

In September of 2012, David Eckert was stopped for a cracked windshield in Deming, New Mexico. The police allowed him to walk away after issuing a citation (he was stopped in front of his house) but continued to badger him with questions. When he asked them if he were free to go, they decided he was being rude and seized his car to do a drug search. No drugs were found.

Fast forward to January 2, 2013. Eckert is stopped pulling out of a Walmart for not coming to a complete stop. This time, they said he was clenching his buttocks and proceeded to detain him, obtain a warrant, and then took him to a hospital to be rectally examined. When the doctor there would not perform the procedure because he thought it would be “unethical”, they took him to another hospital.

What happened next: is something you’d never expect to happen in the USA

1. Eckert’s abdominal area was x-rayed; no narcotics were found.

2. Doctors then performed an exam of Eckert’s anus with their fingers; no narcotics were found.

3. Doctors performed a second exam of Eckert’s anus with their fingers; no narcotics were found.

4. Doctors penetrated Eckert’s anus to insert an enema. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.

5. Doctors penetrated Eckert’s anus to insert an enema a second time. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.

6. Doctors penetrated Eckert’s anus to insert an enema a third time. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.

7. Doctors then x-rayed Eckert again; no narcotics were found.

8. Doctors prepared Eckert for surgery, sedated him, and then performed a colonoscopy where a scope with a camera was inserted into Eckert’s anus, rectum, colon, and large intestines. No narcotics were found.

YHere’s more from KOB4’s reporting:

There are major concerns about the way the search warrant was carried out. Kennedy argues that the search warrant was overly broad and lacked probable cause. But beyond that, the warrant was only valid in Luna County, where Deming is located. The Gila Regional Medical Center is in Grant County. That means all of the medical procedures were performed illegally and the doctors who performed the procedures did so with no legal basis and no consent from the patient.

In addition, even if the search warrant was executed in the correct New Mexico county, the warrant expired at 10 p.m. Medical records show the prepping for the colonoscopy started at 1 a.m. the following day, three hours after the warrant expired.

“This is like something out of a science fiction film, anal probing by government officials and public employees,” Kennedy said.

Eckert is suing everyone involved. You can read the complaint HERE. He suing on ten counts of unreasonable search and seizure, violation of his due process rights, negligence, lack of informed consent, unfair practices, battery, and false imprisonment.

To add insult to injury, Eckert was billed for the procedures performed on him and has sent the bill to a collections agency:

Gila Regional Medical Center billed Eckert for the law enforcement requested procedures – about $6,000 according to his attorney, Shannon Kennedy.

“They actually sent it to collections,” she said.

Something tells me Mr. Eckert is about to own himself a hospital and a fleet of police cars along with a police station and pretty much every law enforcement resource in the town of Deming, New Mexico and Hidalgo County, too. Hopefully, the doctors and police officers involved will all go to jail, as well.

UPDATE: What I didn’t put in this piece before was that this situation looks very much like Eckert was being targeted, perhaps after his first incident with the police in September of 2012. Although he was stopped by the Hidalgo County Sheriff in September and by the City of Deming police officer in Janauary of 2013, according to the complaint, there is evidence that they were out to get him:

Defendant Orosco and Defendant Arredondo then informed Defendant Chavez that Plaintiff was known in Hidalgo County to insert drugs into his anal cavity. This information was false.

Officer Arredondo is with the Hidalgo County Sheriff Department. Officer Chavez, who made the traffic stop that lead to Mr. Eckert’s hideous ordeal, is with the Deming City Police Department. In other words, it was a law enforcement officer with the Hidalgo Sheriff Department, the same sheriff department that siezed his car and found nothing in September, informed the city cop that detained Mr. Eckert that he was “known to insert drugs into his anal cavity”. It strains credulity that the Hidalgo Sheriff Department wasn’t out to retaliate against Mr. Eckert.

It’s hard for me to express how outraged I am by this. If the allegations are even remotely true, and they appear to be because Mr. Eckert released his medical records to KOB4 reporters, this is nothing short of an abduction and rape. The fact that they sedated him, rendering him unconscious and helpless, and then subjected him to a colonoscopy is so far beyond the pale as to render me sputtering and nearly speechless. Mr. Eckert was pulled over sometime around 2:00 p.m. or so on January 2nd and didn’t wake up from being sedated for the colonoscopy until after the 2:15 a.m. procedure the next day. His nightmarish ordeal lasted for more than 12 hours.

What’s puzzling to me is why this is just now coming to light. The abduction took place ten months ago and the lawsuit was filed in August. However, KOB4 only reported on it yesterday.

One final thing to keep in mind: at no time during any of these completely egregious events did the law enforcement officials find any drugs whatsoever in David Eckert’s car or on/in his body.

UPDATE 2: This may explain why the news is just now breaking:

The federal lawsuit, originally filed in August, asks for nonspecified actual and compensatory damages, punitive damages, “injunctive relief” to protect Eckert and his family from “ongoing harassment and intimidation of defendants,” and attorney fees and litigation expenses.

[Eckert’s attorney Shannon] Kennedy said attorneys representing the defendants have already responded to the complaint “and did not dispute any of the facts.” Consequently, “we filed a motion for summary judgment in just the last couple of days.”

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