A lawsuit is underway in Worth County, Georgia, where Sheriff Jeff Hobby is defending a mass-frisking of 900 high school students, performed in public without warrant or even the pretense of probable cause, during which cops reportedly manipulated student's breasts, inserted fingers inside bras, exposed bare breasts and reached into underwear and cupped and groped kids' genitals. This ostentatious display of power, by cops armed with guns and dogs, was supposedly a drug search. No drugs were found. Not a scrap.
[Interim Worth County Superintendent Lawrence] Walters said in March Sheriff Jeff Hobby told him his department was going to do a drug search at the school after spring break.
"We did not give permission but they didn't as for permission, he just said, the sheriff, that he was going to do it after spring break," said Walters. "Under no circumstances did we approve touching any students," explained Walters.
In the student handbook it says school officials may search a student if there is reasonable suspicion the student has an illegal item. Hobby says he was able to search every student, simply because he had an administrator with him.
The intimidatory purpose of this unconstitutional search is made disgustingly clear by the sexualized quality of the touching, as reported by the victims and their parents. From the lawsuit:
The purported justification for the mass search was to discover drugs.
To that end, Sheriff Hobby had a list of thirteen students on a "target list" that he
suspected of possessing drugs. The "target list" included only three students who
were in school on April 14. Defendants had no basis for suspecting any other
student of involvement in unlawful activity
No illegal controlled substances or drug paraphernalia were
discovered during the mass search.
Defendants had no right to touch, pat-down, or manipulate the body
parts of Plaintiffs or other students. Defendants had no right to search Plaintiffs'
clothes and undergarments. Defendants' unlawful conduct injured Plaintiffs by
causing them fear, embarrassment, stress, and humiliation
The sheer scale and grossness of this one seems a bellwether for something larger about to happen to policing in the U.S.: Hobby should be jailed and Walters fired. There must be consequences for them.