The small City of Deming, New Mexico (2010 pop. 14,855) has agreed to pay $1.6 million to a man who had been the victim of what reporters at KOB Eyewitness News 4 in Albuquerque described as "a humiliating violation of [his] body by police and doctors."
Last November, we covered how, what, at most, was a routine traffic stop for an alleged failure to yield upon exiting a Wal-Mart parking lot, turned into an indescribably invasive, fourteen-hour ordeal for the man who was pulled over...
Based upon nothing more than what proved to be an unfounded suspicion that 63-year old Dennis Eckert was concealing narcotics --- a suspicion that allegedly arose because, according to police, Eckert appeared to clench his buttocks while obeying a command to exit his car --- Deming police officers obtained a warrant for an anal cavity search, transported Eckert to the Gila County Regional Medical Center, and compelled him to undergo multiple medical procedures without his consent.
After an x-ray failed to reveal any narcotics, Eckert, on two occasions, was subjected to rectal probes by a doctor’s finger. This was followed by three enemas in which Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police and to watch while doctors searched his stools. Following a second x-ray, Eckert was compelled to undergo surgery, to wit, a colonoscopy in which a scope with a camera was inserted into Eckert's anus, rectum, colon, and large intestines. No narcotics were ever found.
The hospital later billed Eckert $4,539 for the procedures he had never authorized it to perform.
Eckert then filed a civil rights complaint in a U.S. District Court. That suit has now been resolved by way of a settlement in which the City of Deming will pay Eckert $1.6 million --- ending this extraordinary chapter in the farce that is known as the "War on Drugs."