December 19, 2012
Two Texas women have filed a federal suit against two state troopers and their department head after being forced to undergo a humiliating “roadside body cavity search” during a routine traffic stop in July.
Apologies for the auto-play
According to NBC DFW, “The lawsuit further alleges that [trooper Kelley] Helleson performed searches on both women, touching both their anus and vaginas, without changing the latex gloves between searches.”
Footage of the incident was caught by one of the trooper’s dash-cams and shows in horrific detail how the two women, Angel Dobbs, 38, and her niece, Ashley Dobbs, 24, were made to submit to invasive grope-downs in full view of passing motorists.
The stop begins, innocently enough, with trooper David Farrell pulling the two ladies over for allegedly throwing cigarette butts out of their windows, which they denied.
Afterwards, the state trooper, is heard radioing a female officer requesting her assistance with a search he intended to perform.
The officer returns to their car and, out of nowhere, asks the two women, “How much marijuana is in that car? And don’t lie to me,” to which a woman replies, “I don’t smoke marijuana.” The initial exchange was transcribed by NBC:
Farrell: How much marijuana is in that car? And don’t lie to me.
Angel Dobbs: I don’t smoke marijuana.
Farrell: OK, how much marijuana is in that car? That’s my question.
Dobbs: I swear to God, I don’t smoke marijuana.
Farrell: I’m not asking you if you smoke it.
Dobbs: I don’t think there is any marijuana in that car.
Farrell: OK, when was the last time somebody smoked marijuana in that car?
Dobbs: I honestly don’t know. It’s my boyfriend’s car. So, I just borrowed it.
Farrell: There’s an odor of marijuana coming from the car and that’s why I’ve got to talk to you further about it. Um, and the more upfront you are the better it’s going to go for you. So, you’re telling me there’s no marijuana in that car?
Dobbs: To the best of my knowledge, no there is not.
Farrell: Is there anything hidden on your person?
Dobbs: On my person?
Farrell: On your person, in your shoes, in your underwear?
Dobbs: No. I feel like I’m being treated like a criminal right now. What’s going on?
Farrell: I’ve got a female Trooper up the road, she’s going to come down here and we’re just going to check a little bit more.
When the female officer arrives, Farrell relays that the women “are both acting real weird” and singles out the driver, Angel, as needing the search, saying, “There may be a dimesack in there or something, but I’m still gonna search it.”
Next, the female trooper, Kelley Helleson, is seen putting the all-too familiar blue gloves on before descending down the pants of the two accused drug smugglers, while Farrell searches their car.
The illegal searches failed to produce any marijuana, but that didn’t stop Farrell from performing a field sobriety test, which Dobbs passed.
The searches subsequently left a painful reminder of the incident. “Angel Dobbs said Helleson irritated an anal cyst she suffers from during the search, causing her ‘severe and continuing pain and discomfort,’” reported the Daily Mail.
According to the Dallas Morning News, the lawsuit alleges “Angel Dobbs was overwhelmed with emotion and a feeling of helplessness and reacted stating that Helleson had just violated her in a most horrific manner.”
“The suit also says Helleson failed to properly explain the extent of the search, telling Angel Dobbs, 38, ‘not to worry about’ why she was putting on blue latex gloves,” according to Austin’s KVUE News.
The lawsuit apparently also stops just short of accusing Farrell of being a thief: “The lawsuit goes on to say that a bottle of prescribed Hydrocodone was missing from Dobbs’ car and purse after the search. The women returned to the scene of the traffic stop the next day to search for the medication, but it was nowhere to be found.”
Steven McCraw, the director of the Department of Public Safety, is also named in the lawsuit for failing to address a “long standing pattern of police misconduct involving unlawful strip searches, cavity searches and the like…”
One of the women’s attorneys, Charles Soechting, Jr., says the troopers “failed the citizens of Texas,” and that a Class C Misdemeanor “does not justify any type of pat down, let alone an invasive search of cavities of women.”
The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, in addition to a grand jury hearing in January, has also forwarded the case to their public integrity division, which investigates public servants who commit crimes under the “characterization” of their job.
Texas DPS did not immediately respond to Infowars’ media request at the time of publishing.