In a bizarre post, the official Twitter account of the NYPD’s 23rd Precinct heaped praise on its Officer Febres for his dedication to duty. In this case, the duty of finding small amounts of marijuana “where the sun don’t shine”.
— NYPD 23rd Precinct (@NYPD23Pct) October 7, 2016
I don’t know if that’s dedication or some weird fetish leading to sexual assault over an amount of marijuana that’s decriminalized in New York State and subject only to a $100 desk appearance ticket.
Predictably, Twitter reacted with howls of outrage:
.@NYPD23Pct Doesn’t it make you feel stupid that Weed is about to be legal everywhere & you’re out assaulting people & wasting time over it?
— MattyK (@OhMatt1) October 7, 2016
— Keegan Stephan (@KeeganNYC) October 7, 2016
@NYPD23Pct Weird that people are so scared of holding a plant that they put it there. More weird that you assault them to get it.
— Danny Admire(CMP) (@DannyAdmire) October 7, 2016
But BuzzFeed reached out to NYPD and discovered that the weed wasn’t actually discovered up anybody’s butt:
Here is their complete statement on the incident:
“On October 6, 2016 in front of 154 East 106 Street Kevin Pelotte, male, 26 was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a weapon, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Four bags of marijuana were found on the inside of Pelotte’s pants.”
I guess the “sun don’t shine” inside people’s pants, but I don’t think that’s what you thought when you read that tweet.
Unfortunately, NYPD and cops all across the country are sexually assaulting people over small amounts of drugs.
Tony Newman reported some of NYPD’s worst offenses in a 2010 piece in Alternet:
The Brooklyn cops chased Mr. Mineo into the station after they spotted him smoking marijuana. Mr. Mineo claims that the cops tackled him and that one of the officers sodomized him with a baton. The cops then gave him a summons, and threatened that they would go to his house and serve him with a felony charge if he went to the hospital for treatment or the police station to report what happened.
Radley Balko has reported on these kinds of police assaults for years, like this case in Texas last year involving the search of a woman’s vagina:
Returning to his car where Corley was held, the deputy again said he smelled marijuana and called in a female deputy to conduct a cavity search. When the female deputy arrived, she told Corley to pull her pants down, but Corley protested because she was cuffed and had no underwear on. The deputy ordered Corley to bend over, pulled down her pants and began to search her.
Then, according to Cammack, Corley stood up and protested, so the deputy threw her to the ground and restrained her while another female was called in to assist. When backup arrived, each deputy held one of Corley’s legs apart to conduct the probe.
There was huge media coverage in 2013 when a case in New Mexico went beyond a simple manual sexual assault and into the deviant fetish realms of medical sexual assault:
His next stop was Gila Regional Medical Center, where the lawsuit states “no drugs were found” in “an X-ray and two digital searches of his rectum by two different doctors.” One doctor at this time found nothing unusual in his stool.
Three enemas were conducted on Eckert after 10:20 p.m. A chest X-ray followed, succeeded by a colonoscopy around 1:25 a.m.
Again, in all these tests, authorities found “no drugs” on Eckert, according to his lawsuit.
So NYPD, next time you find weed in someone’s pants, don’t say you found it “where the sun don’t shine”. We’ve got far too many examples of your policing that makes us assume the worst.