bikini search cop

Two women in Texas are suing the police after they conducted an illegal roadside cavity search after claiming they could smell marijuana.

A cavity search is a particularly invasive search where all openings in the body including the anus, vagina and mouth are searched. The person conducting the search is also given position to search around the breasts to decipher whether any objects are hidden around there.

Brandy Hamilton, 26, and Alexandria Randle, 24, told reporters how they were ordered out of their vehicle, and not permitted to put on clothes to cover the bikinis they’d been wearing at the beach that day. They were then ordered to lie spread-eagled against the police car and given cavity searches right by the side of the road, in full view of the public.

The disturbing video of the event, which was caught on the dashcam, captures one of the women asking in disbelief, ‘Are you serious?’ when the officers tell her they’re going to give her a cavity search.

Alexandria Randle still can’t believe what happened to her and her friend. She said she felt violated and embarrassed by the body cavity search on the side of a Texas highway when they were stopped after returning from a weekend at the beach.

The women are suing the Texas Department of Public Safety and the sheriff of Brazoria County, Texas, where the stop occurred. Their lawyer said that the search was meant to humiliate them and was conducted without probable cause.

The female officer who performed the invasive search, which included inserting a finger into the women’s vaginas, is accused of using the same pair of gloves to search both women. The entire 40-minute traffic stop was caught on the trooper’s dashboard camera.

One of the cameras caught the women grimacing in pain as the humiliating public search was conducted.

bikini search

Attorney Allie R. Booker told MailOnline her client’s case is startling similar to a July 2012 case in Dallas in which DPS trooper Kelly Helleson aggressively searched Angel Dobbs and her niece, Ashley Dobbs – including giving them a body cavity search and not changing gloves between searching the two women.

Turner claimed he could smell marijuana in the car and accused the women of smoking and driving. He later claimed that he found a smoked marijuana blunt under the back seat of the car.

He then made the two women sand on the side of a busy highway in their swimsuits while he rang for backup.

‘One of them has got her zipper open on her pants of her daisy dukes shorts – whatever they are,’ the trooper says on the radio.

Two more troopers show up – including Jennie Bui.

Turner then told the woman ‘[Bui] is going to search you.’

He added: ‘I ain’t, because I ain’t about to get up-close and personal with your woman areas… she is going to put some gloves on.’

‘You’re going to go up my private parts?’ asks Hamilton, sounding bewildered.

Despite numerous pleas from the two women not to perform a body cavity search, Bui ignores them.

Both women can be seen with pained looks on their faces as the trooper probes their genitals.

Booker, the lawyer for the two women, said the behavior of the troopers was outrageous.

‘If the cavity search alone isn’t enough and say it’s their fault that you basically just sexually assaulted them – that’s humiliating,’ she said.

Turner later released both women and issued Miss Hamilton a citation for possession of drug paraphernalia. She is still fighting the charges in court and she contends the marijuana wasn’t hers.

Trooper Bui was fired last week by the police authorities. Trooper Turner has been suspended, Booker said.

Disturbingly, this is not the only case of an illegal, roadside cavity search that has taken place in the state of Texas.

Just last month, there was a court case involving Angel Dobbs, 38, and her niece Ashley Dobbs, 24, who were stopped for littering by State Trooper David Farrell. The two women sued the Texas Department of Public Safety after being subjected to a roadside cavity search and then settled their lawsuit.

Charles Soechting, the attorney for both women, told NBC 5 Wednesday that his clients have settled for $185,000.

After the story was published, the Department of Public Safety terminated Helleson and she was later indicted on two counts of sexual assault and two counts of official oppression.

Trooper Farrell remains suspended with pay and has been indicted on a theft charge, according to the authorities after prescription drugs belonging to the women went missing as their car was searched.

Similar illegal searches have been documented in other states of America too.

Cavity searches in the US are supposed to be carried out by a trained doctor if there is reasonable suspicion and probable cause. No drugs were found on either of the women.

Illegal cavity searches are most commonly known as rape and aggravated sexual assault in cases where the person concerned does not happen to be a police officer.


It is important to note that even those from poor backgrounds may be able to find a lawyer who can represent them for free, if the case is thought to be strong enough.

Similarly, human rights organisations such as Amnesty International may also help people to find justice if the circumstances are strong enough.

Ultimately the case shows that such occurrences are unlikely to be isolated incidents. Think about it: if the police felt confident enough to do conduct these highly invasive and illegal searches in full view of the public knowing that their cars had cameras attached to them, one can only guess the kind of atrocities they may commit behind closed cell doors.

It also shows that unless the public get organised, more actively involved in politics and hold their leaders to account, then even democratic countries can quickly slip into an authoritarian state – as many indeed have.

And why allow cavity searches in the first place? When there are X-Ray machines available and technology that can see right through your clothes and your skin, one must ask: why are such searches necessary?

Most of these searches are carried out because of the war on drugs. But as prohibition demonstrated in the 1930s, banning drugs hasn’t reduced the number of people inclined to use them. All it has done is forced those users underground, inflated crime, increased law enforcement budgets and led to some of the biggest gang warfare on the streets, which in some countries, is nearly on a par with the conflict in Iran.


But if cases of police brutality and corruption are met with mere apathy by the general public, then it will only get worse. Afterall, when strip searches were first introduced, few would have thought that it would escalate into cavity searches. When cavity searches were introduced, the public were assured that it would only be in cases where a person was reasonably suspected of committing a serious crime, and even then privacy would be assured, with the search carried out hygienically by a doctor. Of course, we now know that there are one two many incidents where that is quite simply not the case, especially in situations where people are randomly approached by police officers on the streets.

It is also very telling that unlike in cases such as the Trayvon Martin case, such blatant sexual abuse by the police is often met with silence on the part of the population – and virtually no widespread protests or lobbying takes place as a result.

But if both local and national representatives are placed under increasing pressure from the public in the form of letters to congress, setting up grassroots organisations such as Copwatch in every state and placing pressure on the perpetrators of these acts, then imagine the change that could be achieved if even a relatively small group of people were active.

For one must also ask, if these acts become more frequent – which they will if the public allow them to – then what next? And who next? Will we see a time when more and more people in positions of power gain the right to conduct these type of searches on the general public? Will we start hearing of cases where these searches are conducted on children? I dread to think.

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