New York Police Force Rectal Probe on Innocent Man, Then Charge Him $4,600

An NYPD officer talks on his radio while people take part in a protest against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, on March 19, 2016 in New York City.
Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

Officers forced Torrence Jackson to undergo a rectal search, but failed to find the drugs they claim to have believed he was storing in his colon.

Despite the protests of the doctors in the St Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse — where Jackson was searched without consent — police obtained a warrant to push the procedure through. The reason, according to Officer Anthony Fiorini, was that “Mr. Jackson’s posture in the car was consistent with someone hiding drugs in his rectum.”

Nevertheless, the doctors refused to perform the procedure until informed that Jackson had no legal right to refuse the procedure. The hospital has made a statement saying only that they “comply with court orders whenever they are issued for detainees who come to our hospital in police custody.”

Jackson does have a criminal record, and both marijuana and cocaine residue were found in his vehicle. Police claimed that Jackson taunted them about having drugs concealed on his person, but Jackson denies the accusation. Reportedly, a policeman was injured in the struggle to arrest him.

The sigmoidoscopy failed to find any foreign objects in Jackson’s colon, and he says he suffered internal injuries from the process. In fact, he told reporters that he was not even aware of what had been done to him until he found blood in his underwear. “I felt tampered with,” he told the newspaper.

“It’s crazy. It’s over the top, by far,” said John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor Hermann Walz. “You’re looking for marijuana and cocaine? It’s extreme. If they wanted to cut him open and look at his stomach, that would be OK, too?”

Afterward, Jackson was billed $4,595.12 for the search. He has refused to pay. “The whole thing is cuckoo nuts to me,” said Jackson’s lawyer, Charles Keller. “What country are we living in?”


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