NY man forcibly sedated for cavity search gets $125k settlement

Posted: July 25th, 2009 by Militant Libertarian

Freedom Shenanigans & High Jinks

A man who was forcibly injected with sedative drugs by police so a doctor could search for other drugs in his rectum will receive a handsome settlement from Albany County, New York and Albany Medical Center, a local publication reported Saturday.

“The settlement stems from a federal lawsuit filed two years ago by Tunde Clement, an ex-convict arrested by sheriff’s investigators on March 13, 2006, at the Albany bus terminal,” reported The Times Union.

Following Clement’s forced drugging, a doctor put a camera in his rectum, discovering no drugs. “[The] final indignity came when the hospital sent Clement a bill for $6,792,” noted the Associated Press.

“Clement’s suit claimed his civil rights were violated,” The Times-Union continued. “He filed the federal complaint against Albany Med and several doctors and nurses, and also sued Albany County and Sheriff James Campbell, Inspector John Burke, who heads the narcotics squad that arrested Clement, and eight investigators assigned to Burke’s unit.”

‘Cavity epidemic in Albany’?

Clement is not the first to accuse the Albany police of an unwarranted cavity search. New York criminal defense attorney Scott Greenfield, on his blog Simple Justice, exclaimed that a “cavity epidemic” is underway in Albany.

Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley explained the seeming rash of invasive searches on his blog:

Women have accused the police of conducting cavity searches with little or no suspicion of crime acts. Crystal Royal, 22, has sued, alleging that she was strip-searched in January by the Albany Police Department and then forced to undergo a pelvic cavity search at Albany Medical Center Hospital. Nothing was found.

This filing follows another complaint by Lisa Shutter who charged that she was given a cavity search on a public street during a traffic stop in December.

Royal said that was stopped by police on the interstate even though she had valid license and properly registered car. She also alleges that police took her cellphone and inspected her call list. She was then given a strip search and cavity search at the station — nothing was found. She was later charged with a felony drug conspiracy count.

The Times-Union noted: “People under arrest normally cannot be forcibly sedated without a court order unless they are in imminent danger, such as when a bag of drugs bursts inside them and they have a seizure or fall unconscious. The hospital’s records indicate Clement was behaving normally and showed no signs of any medical emergency.”

“There are a bunch of people running around Albany in uniform, with guns and shields, committing crimes against people and collecting public paychecks for their efforts,” wrote Greenfield. “Who stops them? How would you like to be Lisa Shutter explaining why the cops performed a cavity search of you on the street. How would you like to be the doctor drugging Tunde Clement and performing an anoscopy because the cops told you to do it. This is mere inches away from Abner Louima.”

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