Despite a Supreme Court ruling that non-emergency opposite gender strip searches of prisoners in view of others is humiliating, unreasonable and unconstitutional, the City of Bend has issued a statement to the Federal Court in Oregon, which authorizes their Police Officers to do this exact same thing in Bend, Oregon.
Police Reports and Medical Records verify that an African American woman made suicidal threats in the presence of her husband and he called 911. The Police Report states that the woman stated that she did threaten to harm herself solely because of her husband’s verbal and physical abuse of her. Instead of assisting the woman and advising her of local resources for victims of domestic violence, they handcuffed her and carted her off to the hospital reportedly because of her previous threats to harm herself.
While at the hospital the woman explained to the staff at St. Charles Health System in Bend Oregon that she had a history of date rape, child molestation and physical assaults over the course of many years. The staff was also advised that the woman’s suicidal threats were secondary to a domestic dispute with her husband that evening and that she did not want to harm herself but instead wanted to get out of her abusive situation at home. http://youtu.be/
Police Reports verify that the woman asked for an attorney prior to being searched by police officers at the hospital, but she was denied an attorney. Instead the woman was forcibly strip-searched naked by two male Bend Police Officers, 2 female nurses, two male hospital employees; all while in plain sight and view of at least three other hospitals employees and one male security guard.
The City’s Attorney Robert Franz has stated that the actions of the officers was “privileged and justified” and that the officers believed that “such force was necessary,” because they were assisting doctors.
The woman has since filed a lawsuit against St. Charles Health System in Bend, Oregon and included in the suit as a defendant the City of Bend. The claim arose from a dispute concerning the woman’s clothing, she asked to be searched and retain her clothing but was denied this request. Police reports and medical records confirm the absence of physical violence on behalf of the woman and that the sole cause of the opposite gender strip search was the woman’s reluctance to change her clothing.
For more information on this case visit http://whateverdiagnosis.org