Tag Archives: strip search

Wis. Gov. Scott Walker Signs Law Granting Authorities Broader Strip Search Powers

Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker signed a bill on March 1 which expands the circumstances in which police and correctional officers can conduct strip searches on detainees and inmates suspected of misdemeanor and other minor crimes.

Previously, individuals detained or jailed on non-felony crimes could only be strip searched if they were to be held among other people for at least a 12-hour period. The Associated Press notes that Walker’s new law removes that 12-hour minimum time requirement.

[RELATED: Walker Calls Building U.S.-Canada Border Wall To Stop Terrorists ‘Legitimate Issue’]

The Associated Press also reported that Republican supporters of the bill argued that allowing law enforcement and corrections authorities to strip search anyone who will be detained or incarcerated among others will lead to safer jails and will help protect officers. Democratic opponents countered that the bill could result in civil rights abuses.

Unfortunately, strip searches are extremely uncomfortable, there’s no question. But for the family of an inmate or an officer who gets killed by the shank that was hidden and not found because no strip search was performed, they’re going to go through much more discomfort than the strip search,” argued bill author Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc) according to The Capital Times.

Rep. Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee), a critic of the law, said that the 12-hour requirement had originally been put in place to prevent people who are jailed or detained briefly for civil violations like non-payment of a fine from being strip searched.

[RELATED: Governor Scott Walker Calls for Full Reauthorization of PATRIOT Act]

The signing of the new law comes on the heels of the Milwaukee Common Council’s January approval of the payment of a $5 million settlement to 74 African-American residents who raised allegations that they were forced by police to submit to illegal body cavity and strip searches during a drug investigation.

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Newly-Filed Federal Lawsuits Claim TSA Officers Strip-Searched 3 Elderly Women

Unspecified Transportation Security Administration officers at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City are facing federal lawsuits after three elderly women raised allegations claiming that the officers performed humiliating strip-searches on them. According to New York Daily News, the women were reportedly chosen for extra screening on the basis of the fact that they were wearing medical devices, which officers deemed suspicious. One lawsuit claims that TSA officers subjected 88-year-old grandmother Ruth Sherman to an unusually-intrusive investigation because they felt that her colostomy bag might have been evidence that she was about to carry out a terror plot. 84-year-old Lenore Zimmerman’s back brace also worried TSA screeners, as did 69-year-old Linda Kallish’s insulin pump. The above-embedded video coverage, provided by WPBF 25 News shortly after the incidents originally occurred, features brief interviews with Sherman, Zimmerman, and Kallish.

Attorneys representing the three women filed separate lawsuits in federal court on November 25 which named specific TSA officers as defendants, rather than the Transportation Security Administration itself. The TSA apologized for the incidents, which took place on November 29, 2011, but claims that the strip-searches never happened.

Lenore Zimmerman said that she was injured during her strip search and that TSA screeners refused to help. Zimmerman told New York Daily News, “My sock was soaked with blood… I was bleeding like a pig.” Speaking sarcastically, she said, “I walk with a walker — I really look like a terrorist… I’m tiny. I weigh 110 pounds, 107 without clothes, and I was strip-searched.”

Ruth Sherman described how she felt when TSA officers allegedly strip-searched her to investigate her colostomy bag in comments to CBS News, “This is private for me. It’s bad enough that I have [the colostomy bag]… I had to pull [it] from my sweatpants and I had to pull my underwear, my underwear down… You don’t do that to anybody. I felt like I was invaded.”

According to Daily Mail, officers asked Linda Kallish to disrobe so that they could inspect her insulin pump’s implantation site. Kallish also claims that her insulin supply, which she relies on for survival, was left unsupervised on a conveyor belt for for a half hour during her ordeal.

The TSA published a blog defending itself against the allegations raised by Zimmerman, Sherman, and Kallish, which said, “TSA does not, and has never, conducted strip searches and no strip searches occurred in any of these incidents.” The blog also stated, “We truly regret these passengers feel they had a bad screening experience. Our goal is to provide the highest level of security while ensuring that all passengers are treated with dignity and respect. We work regularly with a coalition of advocacy groups that represent those with disabilities and medical conditions to help TSA understand their conditions and adapt screening procedures accordingly.”

Sheriff’s Deputies Force Children to Strip, Squat and Cough at Philadelphia Court

Deputies with the Philadelphia Police Department reportedly strip-searched minors who were making appearances for hearings at the Philadelphia Family Courthouse

CBS Philadelphia reports that multiple sources state sheriff’s deputies ordered juveniles in county custody to “remove all their clothes, to squat, and to cough.” The searches happened individuals and in small groups.

KYW Newsradio said multiple sources told them the searches were cancelled after the children complained and court authorities were notified. The incidents took place on Monday November 17 and possibly Tuesday the 18th. The courthouse officially  opened on the 17th.

A statement from the Family Court stated:

On Tuesday morning of this week, in response to concerns raised by child advocates over allegations of strip searches of juveniles, the leadership of Philadelphia Family Court directed the Sheriff’s Office to cease and desist all strip searches pending further notice. Today, Family Court issued new rules governing the screening and detention of juveniles that the Court developed in collaboration with the Sheriff’s Office.”

As CBS notes, “not all of the young people searched were in custody on a criminal matter” and some had been the victims of  physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.

What are your thoughts? Do you think this procedure is appropriate? Leave your comments below.


School Strip Searches Girl, Claims She Has No Constitutional Rights


The Milton Hershey School in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania ordered a young female student to take her shirt off. Administrators apparently conducted the strip-search because they thought the student was attempting to conceal a cell phone under her clothing–such devices are banned at the school. The girl’s mother claimed that school officials said they have every right to do this, since students do “not have Constitutional rights” in a private school.

The mother, Trina Howze, is now suing the school. Her court complaint, which named the daughter as “C.W.,” asserted that school officials “touched C.W. all over her body – including her chest – feeling for a smartphone… After the strip search, C.W., feeling violated, was visibly upset, crying and shaken.”

No phone was ultimately found on C.W.

When Howze complained to the school, they defended their actions and reportedly told her that C.W. “does not have constitutional rights because she is in a private school.” Howze claimed that she then called officers at the Derry County Police Department, who told her nothing could be done about the situation. “It is what it is, Ms. Howze,” they allegedly said.

Howze is seeking $75,000 in damages from the school, which describes itself as a “cost-free, private, coeducational home and school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students from the families of low income, limited resources and social need operating in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

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VIDEO: Woman Arrested For DUI Gets Strip Searched & Tossed Naked Into Cell

33-year-old Dana Holmes was almost three times over the legal blood alcohol limit when she was pulled over in May.

Video footage of her DUI arrest shows Holmes cooperating with police and making no visible attempt to resist arrest.

After the Chicago woman was taken to the Lasalle County jail for DUI, one female officer put her against a wall and searched her while three male officers watched. Then Holmes’s leg moved; the officers claim the leg movement was a kick at them, but Holmes denies this. “I don’t know if I lost my balance or what happened, but I wasn’t being combative at all,” Holmes insisted.

After the leg movement, the police became aggressive.

In the video footage, all four officers can be seen pulling Holmes to the ground and then stripping her completely naked. Holmes was then left alone, completely naked in the cell where she remained alone on the ground until officers eventually threw a “padded suit” at her.


Holmes said, “I was terrified. I felt helpless. I was scared and I lay there crying. I just prayed.”

The entire incident was captured on a surveillance camera.

Holmes is now suing Lasalle County police for “violating her civil rights.” Holmes said, “There’s a lot of people that get DUIs, a lot of people that just make mistakes in life. That still doesn’t give them a reason to do what they did. My dignity is worth more than that, and other people’s too.”

Holmes’s attorney, Terry Ekl, said the incident is “not only a violation of her civil rights, it’s also a crime.” Ekl pointed out that in Illinois, it is illegal to be stripped in the presence of any officer not actually doing the search, and the search may only be conducted by an officer of the same sex.

But police claim Holmes had attitude and was “causing problems” while they tried to arrest her.

Even if what the police claim is true, and Holmes was indeed “causing problems,” does that justify their actions?

Let us know what you think in the comments section below.