White cops from Aiken, SC improperly stopped a car driven by a black woman (they claimed the stop was motivated by temporary tags, but driving with current temporary tags is not grounds for a stop), then improperly questioned her passenger, who voluntarily gave them his ID, then induced a drug dog to "alert" on the car, then forced both black people to expose themselves in public, culminating with two officers taking turns sticking their fingers up the passenger's rectum, again, in public.
The dashcam footage reveals the officers using racist language while conspiring to humiliate the passenger -- one of them remarks, "You're going to pay for this on, boy."
They subsequently engage in a kind of law-enforcement kabuki in which they pronounce that they searched the man because they had seen him while working on a drug enforcement squad.
The driver says that the officers made her expose her breasts in public during a search of her.
The officers concluded by giving the two a "courtesy warning."
Lakeya Hicks and Elijah Pontoon -- the driver and her passenger -- are suing the police department, including Officer Chris Medlin, who pulled over the car.
The Aiken police department went on to win accolades from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, an accreditation given when a police department "demonstrates a commitment to professional excellence in policy and practice
Medlin still works for the Aiken police.
The anal probe happens out of direct view of the camera, but the audio leaves little doubt about what’s happening. Pontoon at one point says that one of the officers is grabbing his hemorrhoids. Medlin appears to reply, “I’ve had hemorrhoids, and they ain’t that hard.” At about 12:47:15 in the video, the audio actually suggests that two officers may have inserted fingers into Pontoon’s rectum, as one asks, “What are you talking about, right here?” The other replies, “Right straight up in there.”
Pontoon then again tells the officers that they’re pushing on a hemorrhoid. One officer responds, “If that’s a hemorrhoid, that’s a hemorrhoid, all right? But that don’t feel like no hemorrhoid to me.”
The officers apparently continue to search Pontoon’s rectum for another three minutes. They found no contraband. At 12:50:25, Medlin tells Pontoon to turn around and explains that he suspects him because he recognized him from when he worked narcotics. “Now I know you from before, from when I worked dope. I seen you. That’s why I put a dog on the car.”
That was Medlin’s “reasonable suspicion” to call for a drug dog — he thought he recognized Pontoon from a drug case. Medlin could well have been correct about recognizing Pontoon. He has a lengthy criminal history that includes drug charges, although his record appears to be clean since 2006, save for one arrest for “failure to comply.” Of course, even if Medlin did recognize Pontoon, that in itself isn’t cause to even stop him, much less search his car, or to subject him to a roadside cavity search.
Video shows white cops performing roadside cavity search of black man [Radley Balko/Washington Post]