Woman Strip-Searched by Cop for a Dead Taillight Finally Gets Her Story Heard

You should not drive around with a broken taillight, but if you do, the punishment you should receive is at best an order to get it fixed, and at worst a fine. Your punishment should not be, as it was for one Baltimore woman, a strip search on the side of a public street that includes a probe of your anal cavity. And if police do that to you, their punishment should be (at best) losing their job ... not, like for the cop in the Baltimore incident, a "reprimand." And yet, here we are.

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That same cop strip-searched a teen earlier this year, for even less of a reason: According to the kid's official complaint, the cop wasn't even looking for him -- he was looking for his brother. Still, the cop frisked him and, when he didn't find anything, made him strip and then frisked him again. After the complaint was filed, the officer approached the boy by his house, pulled down his pants, and grabbed his genitals. And then got off with no punishment. At this point, are you surprised?

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Here's the thing: After everything that's happened in the past few years between cops and the black community, police departments have come forward to say that they're mostly good, but there are bad eggs in their ranks, just like there are in any system. And we believe them. We do.

But you can't say something like that, make us believe it, and then do nothing to weed out the bad guys. In this case, the Baltimore Police Department had more than enough evidence to prove that this cop was not a good person. But those in charge didn't do anything. That makes them culpable, too. 

All of these alarming details (and more, if you can believe it) were released to the public in the Department of Justice's 14-month investigation into the Baltimore Police Department, which began after the death of Freddie Gray in April 2015. 

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The kind-of-good news here is that after the report was released, the BPD fired the officers who committed "egregious violations." We don't know which cops they were, and obviously, they should have been fired immediately. But even if letting them go was a publicity move, we're just glad it happened.

What we want now is for this report to make an actual difference -- we want police officers and departments to be held accountable for their actions. We want them to stop blaming black men for crimes before any crime actually takes place. We want everyone who hasn't acknowledged that there's a problem to finally do so, and we want people in power to move toward a solution. 

Hopefully, we'll get there soon.

 

Image via arindambanerjee/Shutterstock

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