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“The Right of Working Stiffs Not to Endure Forced Colonoscopies”

Wow. This story has made the rounds, but if you hadn’t heard, there was a bit of a ruckus in New Mexico recently when police stopped a 54-year-old guy with a five-year-old conviction for meth possession, thinking he might have drugs again.

So they asked him to step out of his car, and as it happened, they didn’t find any drugs on the guy or in his car. Their canine, however, alerted to the car (supposedly), and one of the officers wrote that the guy’s posture was “erect and he kept his legs together.” Who knows.

Whatever the facts, it’s hard to imagine what possessed the officers to do what they did next, which is to place the man in handcuffs and take him on a nightmare tour of local-area hospitals that ended only after two rectal exams, three enemas, and a colonoscopy. None of it voluntary, and still no drugs!

It was so bad that the first hospital they took him to wouldn’t do it. They asked one of the doctors there to forcibly search the man’s rectum, and the good doctor refused, saying it would be unethical. “I was pretty sure it was the wrong thing to do,” the doctor deadpanned. “It was not medically indicated.”

Throughout the ordeal, the officers didn’t let the man make a phone call, and they forced him to have bowel movements in front of them and others. Thirteen hours later, they finally let him go home to wait for a $6,000 hospital bill.

Well, the guy sued, and apparently, the city and county have settled the lawsuit for $1.6 million. “Nothing was found inside of Mr. Eckert,” reads the police report. But really, does it altogether matter?

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