A sickening new dashcam video has emerged, showing at least one member of the Aiken, South Carolina police department involved in a highly invasive search of two African-American citizens.
Layeka Hicks and Elijah Pontoon, victims of an apparent racial profiling by white officers, were pulled over by Officer Chris Medlin for having paper tags on the car. The problem is, there is no law in South Carolina which bans paper tags on cars, provided they haven’t expired. The car owner, Hicks’ tags weren’t expired and her license came up clean. That should have been the end of their trouble considering they were told to stop for no reason, which in itself is illegal and a violation of police conduct.
However, the police instead asked Pontoon for his identification, even though he was the passenger and hence did not need to show his ID even if the stop was for legitimate reasons.
Pontoon had a criminal record but had been clean since 2006. Even so, the police dragged him out of the car, had him handcuffed and sniffed out by their dogs. Despite the fact they found no evidence of drugs on him, the cops decided to conduct a highly invasive body search—right there on the roadside in full view of traffic.
During the anal probe, the officer exclaims he found “something hard” although Pontoon insists it was his hemorrhoids. Additionally, according to the federal lawsuit filed on the couple’s behalf, Hicks, whose criminal record was clean, was forced to expose her breasts in full view of the three male officers, while a female officer body searched her thoroughly.
The four police were forced to give up their search once they found no sign of contraband. However, Medlin told Pontoon that he recognized him from a previous stint in jail. Regardless of the fact, there was no reason for the police to stop the car now, much less search it and its occupant.
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Cases of illegal stop-and-frisk have been making headlines for years. Just recently footage emerged of a black mailman in New York who was stopped and frisked simply because he was almost run over by a police car.
Although states like New York have deemed stop-and-frisk for no reason as unconstitutional and illegal, cops throughout the country continue to do it, later claiming they did not know about the updated policies.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters