Worse Than The Disease: Law Enforcement Officers Committing Sexual Violence In The Line Of Duty
from the criminals-on-both-sides-of-the-line dept
Maybe all these politicians and activists who want tough-on-crime leadership are looking at the wrong side of the thin blue line. The cure is worse than the disease, as the saying goes, and these officers seem to be going out of their way to prove that adage.
First up, following on the heels of the multiple rectal violations committed by a New Mexico doctor at the behest of police officers in search of drugs that just weren’t there is this story, which features more New Mexico law enforcement members violating someone’s lower regions — again, in search of drugs.
Cops in New Mexico repeatedly sprayed a woman’s vagina with mace after she was arrested for drugs. They allegedly did this to “punish” her.
The woman, Marlene Tapia, was taken to the Metropolitan Detention Center after her arrest. Next, officers stripped her to search for drugs. They made her bend over and then claimed she had a plastic bag containing drugs in her vagina.
Officers should have subsequently had medical staff remove the bag from Tapia — but they did not do this.
Instead, officers “punished” the woman by spraying her vagina with mace. They allegedly did this several times in a row.
To be clear, these were corrections officers at a detention center, not police officers. Tapia apparently actually had a baggie of drugs inserted in her vagina, but as is pointed out in the lawsuit, spraying her with mace wasn’t going to dislodge it, and she wasn’t offering the officers any resistance. As is also pointed out, corrections officers are supposed to refer anyone they suspect of hiding drugs to the medical center for examination. Obviously, they do things differently in New Mexico, especially if the “problem area” happens to be below the waist.
There is little doubt this incident actually occurred. According to the filing, the officer (Blanca Zapater) was both instructed to stop spraying mace on Tapia’s genitals by her supervisor and was later punished for her actions. Tapia is now seeking damages and court fees for Zapater’s clearly stupid actions.
This next case is much, much worse on every level, further underscoring the fact that those charged with enforcing laws often seem to be at least as dangerous as those who break them.
A 40-year-old police officer in San Antonio, Texas is facing charges of felony sexual assault after a 19-year-old woman accused him of handcuffing and raping her during a traffic stop over the weekend.
According to an arrested warrant obtained by the San Antonio Express-News, Officer Jackie Len Neal pulled over the teen, telling her that her car was reported stolen.
Even though the woman produced a sales slip for the vehicle, Neal insisted on patting her down. The woman told him she felt uncomfortable with the pat down and asked for a female officer, but he ignored her, the warrant said. The woman was allegedly groped, placed in handcuffs and then taken to the back of his patrol car.
Neal was accused of raping the woman and instructing her to keep it a secret.
Neal’s dashboard cam and mike weren’t working as his system was missing its hard drive. This fact Neal would have been aware of, according to his police chief, William McManus. The car’s GPS system confirmed that Neal’s patrol car was parked at this location for 18 minutes.
Neal’s past is checkered with other abuse.
McManus confirmed that Neal had been suspended in September for dating an 18-year-old, who had joined the Police Explorer program in preparation for a law enforcement career. He had also been accused of sexual assault while on duty several years earlier, but the woman refused to cooperate with a police investigation and the charges were dropped.
This may not be the end of it either. McManus must suspect his officer is a habitual offender as he’s made a call for other victims to come forward. The lack of criminal charges preceding this event likely kept McManus from unloading an officer he felt was problematic. That it culminated in an alleged rape before being corrected is an indictment of the system itself.