The Militant Libertarian

I'm pissed off and I'm a libertarian. What else you wanna know?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

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

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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  • At 1:12 PM, July 25, 2009 , Blogger Kent McManigal said...

    If this happened to me or anyone in my family (the ones I value, anyway) it would probably make me insane with rage. Although it would be a violation of the ZAP, I think I would not rest until I had put the offenders in the ground. An insane man has no more principles to lose, anyway. Right?

  • At 1:23 PM, July 25, 2009 , Blogger Militant Libertarian said...

    I personally think the ZAP principle is null once you've been attacked and are acting in self-defense. I've always seen revenge as a type of self-defense. We're not always capable of immediate defense, but can often consider longer-term actions instead.

    Our entire justice system is modeled on this idea, really.

  • At 1:30 PM, July 25, 2009 , Blogger Kent McManigal said...

    I am against revenge. I think it is no longer self-defense once the threat has ended. I do agree that this is the basis of the entire "justice system". That is a good reason I oppose it, as well. (Besides the fact that leaving the cannibals in charge of the nursery is a really bad idea!) But I am not perfect and in a case like this I wouldn't want to be the thug who committed the rape.

  • At 1:37 PM, July 25, 2009 , Blogger Militant Libertarian said...

    I have little problem with revenge. So long as it goes no further than the original offense and harms no one other than the offender, I'm at peace with it.

    The prospect of revenge is the basis for the "deterrent" ideal that our justice system originally was founded on.

    It is also the #1 way that most cultures throughout history have modeled their civilized behavior enforcement upon.

    My people are, for the most part, of Norse (Scandinavian, Germanic, Celtic) origins. All of their systems were based upon the concept of vendetta. They invented the very system of government we founded America upon, in fact.

    As far as I'm concerned, if you come to my home while I'm not here and steal my things, I have every right to do the same to you or to take similar revenge (holding you captive while I re-secure my belongings, destroying something of yours of equivalent value to what you took from me, taking money or goods in fair compensation for the things stolen, etc.).

    It used to be that when these acts were done, the police in most parts of this country would "look the other way" and forget that anything had ever happened.

    Of course, today, they'll go after the "vigilante" at three times the spittle-spewing vehemence they would ever expend on the original perpetrator.

  • At 1:46 PM, July 25, 2009 , Blogger Kent McManigal said...

    Your example doesn't sound like revenge to me. Maybe I'm thinking of it differently.

  • At 1:51 PM, July 25, 2009 , Blogger Militant Libertarian said...
    1. to exact punishment or expiation for a wrong on behalf of, esp. in a resentful or vindictive spirit: He revenged his murdered brother.
    2. to take vengeance for; inflict punishment for; avenge: He revenged his brother's murder.

    That's how I see it. A true vendetta, of course, is much broader and usually involves multiple people (families, groups, gangs) rather than just a handful of individuals.

    Most of the time, in movies and television, "revenge" is shown to be an extreme reaction or a true vendetta against someone rather than real revenge.

    That's how I see it, anyway.


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