Two years ago, a 21-year-old college student with no criminal record was pulled over by Harris County Police (Houston). What followed was what some are calling an egregious violation of this woman’s rights.
According to her attorney, as well as dashcam footage, Charneisha Corley was pulled over for allegedly running a stop sign. After claiming they smelled marijuana, police subjected Corley to an 11-minute body cavity search. The dashcam footage was released by her attorney after charges against the two officers conducting the search were dropped. The video shows police throwing Corley, handcuffed, to the ground before pinning her down and conducting the 11-minute search. Police claimed to have been searching for marijuana and later charged Corley with possession of marijuana and resisting arrest. Both charges were later dropped after the “discovery of new evidence.” The evidence, according to the District Attorney’s office, cannot be made public.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez released a statement saying that his department is committed to making sure Harris County residents are treated with respect and dignity and that strip searches are prohibited without a warrant. Once a warrant is obtained, these searches must occur in private, sanitary and appropriate facilities – not on the side of the road.
Corley is still pursuing civil action against the police officers, believing that the police search was tantamount to rape.