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drug war | police / legal

Police Use Drug Free Zones to Justify Offensive Searches of Women

Last Friday, August 5, 2005 at about 6 PM, I witnessed a stop and pat down of a woman and her boyfriend by three PPB officers. I was in a parking lot between SW 10th and 11th on Salmon street when I noticed three officers and two police cars surrounding a young couple at the edge of the parking lot. I decided at that point to watch carefully what was taking place (and I advise others to do the same when the police are making a stop in your vicinity). One of the officers was speaking with the couple while the other two were in the car donning blue plastic gloves. I knew that the use of the gloves was a precursor to a search. I did not see the what prompted the stop and the search but I noticed that the couple did not at all seem threatening to the police.

I then watched as the two police that were in the car get out and one of them walked over to the young woman who I estimate was about twenty five years old. She raised her arms up to her sides on command of the officer. The officer proceeded to pat her down. He felt her buttocks, he slid his hand over her frontal private parts, he put his hand in both of her front and back pockets and he slid his hand slowly down the inside of her thighs. He did not touch her breasts. He went through her pocket book. He did not find anything of interest. After this ordeal was over, the woman collapsed on her boyfriend's shoulder bawling histerically. She was noticeably traumatized after being felt up in public by this officer.
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