Judge Dismisses Florida Woman's Civil Rights Suit Alleging Cops Made Her Poo on Front Lawn During Drug Search
A Florida woman is filing a claim against police officers for violating her civil rights when they forced her to defecate on her front lawn during a meth bust. A federal judge ruled that her claim won’t stick.
Courthouse News Service reports that Dawn Brooks alleges that police in New Smyrna Beach handcuffed her and brought her outside when she asked to do her business in a private place as they searched her house for meth.
“They 'told her to 'just use the restroom right there' in the front yard, which plaintiff did," U.S. District Judge Roy Dalton Jr. summarized.
Brooks further claims that they looked on and laughed at her as they made her undress and change into a plastic jumpsuit instead of helping her do so.
Brooks is claiming that the humiliating event constituted unreasonable search and seizure and caused her mental anguish. She also alleges that Volusia County failed to correctly train its officers.
But Dalton says Brooks needs to amend her complaint. He dismissed the claims against the county, as the need for further training was not “plainly obvious” based on previous instances. He cited the lack of specifics proving that the officers infringed on her rights as well as allegations of “deliberate indifference” related to the officers’ inadequate training.
The March 14 ruling didn’t say what the officers had found inside the house.
Brooks has until April 4 to amend her complaint, the judge ruled.
Sources: Courthouse News Service