(Warning: Video contains graphic content)
A black Texas woman alleges she was sexually assaulted in 2015 by Texas police.
Charnesia Corley claims she was subjected to an invasive and lengthy roadside strip search by Harris County police officers in Houston after they pulled her over for running a red light. Her attorney, Sam Cammack, also released the dashcam video of the horrific incident.
He told Houston’s Fox 26 News how the 11-minute video shows “rape by cop” on June 21, 2015.
The horrific footage shows the then-20-year-old being body-slammed while naked, following an intense search from below her waist line in the parking lot of a Texaco gas station.
An officer “body slammed Miss Corley, stuck her head underneath the vehicle and completely pulled her pants off, leaving her naked and exposed in that Texaco parking lot,” said Cammack. “They then took Miss Corley and placed both ankles behind her ears spread eagle position and started to search for something in Miss Corley’s cavity in her vaginal area.”
“When you stick your fingers in somebody without their effective consent, that’s rape in any state that I know of,” he added.
The Harris County district attorney’s office arrested Corley and charged her for possessing 0.02 ounces of marijuana. Those charges were dropped later, but Corley was scarred for life.
“That was extreme, to pull my clothes down, in front of people,” Corley said in the video. “People were watching. You didn’t see people walking around?”
The officers, Ronaldine Pierre and William Strong, who claim to have detained Corley after allegedly “smelling marijuana” in her car, were charged with official oppression last year. On Aug. 4 they were cleared of by a grand jury.
This is what prompted Cammack to release the dashcam footage. He wants an independent prosecutor to look into the case.
The ruthless treatment Corley received from the Texas police officers garnered a firestorm of questions about racism by the police force against non-white suspects.
“When they’re violating the bodies of black women, I think there’s this perception in society that that’s par for the course, that that’s to be expected and that combines with these profiles of black women as drug couriers, drug concealers, as people who are always hiding drugs in some part of their body,” said Andrea J Ritchie, author of “Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color.”
“And so I think those things kind of combine in the minds of grand jurors to: ‘Well, isn’t this how we wage the war on drugs, isn’t this what we think black women are doing all the time anyway? So we’re not going to hold this officer liable for basically doing the job we told them to do,’” she continued.
A federal civil rights trial for the case is set for January.
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