Another lawsuit has been filed against New Mexico law enforcement authorities alleging unreasonable and illegal body cavity searches. The lawsuit is the latest of several that have been filed against both police officers and border patrol agents in the region.
The woman filing the lawsuit is 54-year-old Lori Ford. In 2012, Ford and a friend were pulled over for speeding. Ford would not consent to a vehicle search by police officers, who responded by sniffing the perimeter of her car with a K-9 dog.
After the dog sniffed Ford’s car, officers made her wait on the side of the road for two hours as they waited for a search warrant to be approved to search her car. Her car was seized by law enforcement after a search.
The lawsuit says Ford never heard back from the police department about the location of her car. She claims she went to pick it up after being tipped off to its location by a friend. When she arrived at the lot her car was being held in she was arrested.
After being arrested, Ford claims she was taken to a secluded room with several male police officers inside. The officers forced her into a “degrading position” and searched her anal and vaginal cavities. Fords lawsuit is seeking an unspecified amount of money for damages and legal fees.
“This was an illegal and unreasonable search,” Ford’s attorney Shannon Kennedy said. “It’s disgusting. It’s a sexual assault.”
The lawsuit is the third in the last 7 months filed against New Mexico law enforcement authorities alleging illegal body cavity searches. Hidalgo County and the city of Deming reached a $1.6 million settlement recently with a man who was subjected to unreasonable anal cavity searches on suspicions he was hiding drugs. No drugs were ever found.