AFRICANGLOBE – Multiple white police officers performed an illegal and humiliating cavity search on a Black man on the side of the road in South Carolina during an unwarranted traffic stop, according to a video and a bombshell lawsuit.
Elijah Pontoon was victim to the mortifying probe after cops pulled over the car his girlfriend, Lakeye Hicks, was driving near downtown Aiken, S.C. because the recently-purchased vehicle had temporary tags.
Driving with temporary tags isn’t illegal so long as they are not expired, according to the Washington Post, which was first to report on the lawsuit filed in September, 2015 as part of a series on police abuse in South Carolina.
Aiken Police Officer Chris Medlin and his fellow officers almost immediately handcuffed Pontoon after they run their identifications and found that the tags check out, shocking police video of the Oct. 2, 2014 traffic stop shows.
While cops gave no reason to search the couple or their car, the pair dutifully allowed them to, although at one point Pontoon says “this is just harassment,” the suit says.
The officers eventually allude to Pontoon’s “past history” as a reason for the aggressive search and tells him that “You’re going to pay for this one, boy,” before they instruct a dog to sniff the car.
After Medlin and the other officers are unable to find anything during a body search of Pontoon, they don’t give up there.
“You’ve got something here right between your legs,” one of the officers sayd. “There’s something hard right there between your legs.”
During the roughly three-minute anal probe on Pontoon, which takes place out of the camera’s view and invovles more than one officer, Officer Medlin is incredulous when he says that a hard mass he is feeling a hemorrhoid, not drugs.
“If that’s a hemorrhoid, that’s a hemorrhoid, all right? But that don’t feel like no hemorrhoid to me,” one officer says.
“It’s a rock. It’s a rock in the crack. It’s gotta be rock. He’s got it up in the butt,” one of the officers insists.
Despite a disturbing determination to find drugs, they fail to dig up anything inside the car or the couple’s bodies. They let the couple go with a warning, having had no reason to stop them in the first place, the suit says.
Pontoon’s girlfriend, who was driving the car, was also searched and is a plaintiff in the lawsuit.
The moment cops search her isn’t visible in the video but she says that the probe involved showing her breasts on the side of a very populated road.
Both Pontoon and Hicks filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Aiken, S.C. , saying the stop was invasive and illegal.
Officer Medlin, who is a defendant in the lawsuit, is still working for the police department and the city denies any wrongdoing, according to a statement provided to the media.
“The City of Aiken denies the Plaintiffs’ allegations and is vigorously defending this lawsuit. We will have no further comment about the facts of this case during the pendency of this litigation.”
By: Laura Bult