Representatives from the Houston affiliate of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws will hold a joint press conference tomorrow calling for Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman to immediately take administrative action against three sheriff’s deputies who forcibly conducted an illegal body cavity search on a 21-year-old woman in Houston. You can read more about the case, which has attracted national attention, here. Houston NORML will also call for Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson to investigate the allegation and file any necessary criminal charges against the deputies involved.
Police conducted the search without a warrant or consent after claiming to have smelled marijuana. Two deputies forced the woman’s legs apart and conducted an intrusive manual cavity search in a public parking lot.
“Atrocities like this should not be happening in our community,” says Jason Miller, executive director of Houston NORML. “This is a blatant violation of our Constitution. When law enforcement has its way, marijuana-smokers are afforded no Fourth Amendment rights whatsoever. They are discriminated against and violently abused over nothing more than mere suspicion of possessing a plant. It has to stop.”
Tomorrow’s press conference will take place at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center located at 1201 Franklin St downtown on Thursday August 13, at 11am.
You can read the full text of Houston NORML’s press release here.
[UPDATE: Watch archived video from the press conference here.]