Houston NORML Calls on Harris County Sheriff, District Attorney To Act On Illegal Body Cavity Search

Houston NORMLRepresentatives 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.]

27 thoughts

  1. I think they should be fired, serve a prison sentence, and have to fill as a sex offender for rape. What happened to protect and serve?

  2. I agree with sweet! The so called “deputies” involved in this crime should be labeled as sex offenders. These morons need to experience what they put Miss Corley thru, “an illegal body cavity search”. They should not be allowed to be back on the streets. Do your thing Houston NORML!!!!

  3. This is a ludicrous response for weed. There can be no excuse for it whatsoever. Who ever these deputized ‘Barney Fifes’ were, I blame the politicians for perpetuating Drug War excesses like this just as much–even more.

  4. Americans are stupid if they let police bully them and then keep praising them. Yes there are good police officers but the currant culture makes them shut up and not report their evil coworkers. Good cops who keep their mouths shut are the problem. How grateful we should be for these creeps we have produced as public servants. Corporate news thinks they are being a good community member by buying the bullshit stories police keep telling even when there is a video. A FREE SOCIETY WILL ONLY BE POLICED AS MUCH AS THEY WILL ALLOW. IF THE POLICE SET THE NARRATIVE YOU HAVE WHAT WE HAVE NOW. I think police are a poor choice to lecture grade school children about bullying! REMEMBER THEY TAKE CHILDREN FROM THEIR PARENTS BECAUSE THEY SMOKE POT!
    Take control of these police and aggressively arrest them for misuse of their power.

  5. If this is top-down operating proceedure, then there is likely going to be a lot of, “If I go down I’m taking you with me” crap. This will be interesting to watch.

  6. If the police did this to me, I’d seriously have to consider killing the sorry bastards!

    At a minimum, they should be fired, serve 10 years in prison, and be listed as sex offenders for the rest of their pathetic lives.

  7. @ RUT,

    My local news is as bad as big corporate news, though, it is of course merely an extension of corporate news.

    If they can’t show you a mug shot of a local criminal at least once or twice per program, they’ll find news stories about “crime” from some other part of the state or country. Murder, murder, murder is their favorite theme. Though they do love drugs busts too, bad parents with pot, etc etc.

    Stories about corrupt or murderous cops occasionally appear; however, with the reputation of Albuquerque’s police force of late, they almost have no choice. (Believe me, they’d much rather have a good juicy story about a teacher or school, though).

    Concerning our rights as citizens vis a vis cops, I’ve been told that I have the right to refuse searches and such other things. Of course, in the real world, you’re often risking having your face ground into the pavement by said “peace officer” if you don’t comply.

  8. I wrote Jason Miller to commend him for his action for justice and extend my services to the cause, although I imagine he and Houston NORML are very busy today, this is what creating chapters is all about; being there for those who have had their 4th amendment rights or even their bodies violated without consent, warrants or due process.

    Attorney General Loretta Lynch should be involved in these investigations, as we have reached a level of disproportionate and discriminatory collusion with civil asset forfeitures that has corrupted law enforcement throughout state governments and even within the DOJ and Congress.

    Here is an example of why prohibition corrupts the priorities of law enforcement until they become the violent sexual predators they were sworn to protect the public from. We continue to spend more on a drug budget for drug enforcement and interdiction than treatment and education. These three officers not only violated Federal law, there is a recent Texas law that makes these body cavity (rape) searches illegal without a search warrant.

    These officers must be stripped of their badges and tried both civilly and Federally. The victim has enough evidence in the police report to sue the Harris County Sherriff’s department for fraud, negligence, sexual assault, violation of her 4th amendment rights and illegal cavity search without a warrant. Just wait for the DOJ investigation before filing your civil suit.

  9. How humiliating! These cops definitely need to go! Total bullshit, they THOUGHT they smelled it. BAH BYE! You can’t be a cop anymore.

  10. LEOs have no check and balance system besides their own, protecting their own and serving the wealth and powerful, and making sure the poor and disenfranchised are witnesses to social selection by institutionalized theft and intimidation. Doesn’t it appear to be lessons from the past? National socialist in germany labelled impure members of their culture as slaves and only worthy of living if the serve their masters.

  11. Just typical cops doing what they do; which is why I despise them and our leaders who empower them!

    I wonder what Texas Gov. Greg Abbott thinks about this since things like this happening are at least partly his fault…

    Well, to the cops credit, they claim to have found .02 oz of marijuana. Wow – and that apparently gives them cause for this sexual assault; all in the name of the war on drugs… Friggin’ Idiots!

  12. Let’s call this what it really is… rape

    There is no way these cops are so fucking stupid he thought weed was in her vagina. The officers should spend at least the rest of their lives in prison or agree to be raped by strangers at a gas station parking lot. Honestly the death penalty for these officers is not too extreme. If ever there was a time to make an example of a criminal it would be here.

  13. As of 20150814, as important as I think this is, there are only 13 comments (including mine).

    Where are all the NORML members on this issue. Are there only 13 of us that care? WTF!!!

    It really makes me wonder why I bother…

    If this country doesn’t care, well from this point forward then neither do I!

    Please, prove me wrong. Otherwise, screw it and screw this uncaring country!

    Yes, that is how pissed I am at this BS!

  14. Please forgive my previous angry rant… I had no weed and decided to consume a bit of tequila… I think that probably explains it!

    Still, even now I wonder where is the outrage this incident warrants? Perhaps it is simply that this has become such a common occurrence in this country that it no longer raises anyone’s eyebrows; if so that’s pretty pathetic isn’t it?

  15. @Miles,
    While we share your frustration with authority, remember that blogging isn’t the endgame of responding to this situation; it is merely an educational tool to exchange ideas for solutions to this made-to-fail drug war. If you want to be inspired by bold action in the face of ignorance and complacency, click on the “update” link above to see the press conference for Houston NORML where poor Jason Miller has to haller over passing busses… (Guys, really? Couldn’t get permission for a podium on the steps of city hall?)
    The real action, at the current time Miles is in contacting our Congressman to pass the CARERS Act and in this case with Charnesia Corley, supporting her bravery to speak out and condemn the Harris County Sherriff’s Department for failure to comply with civil rights, the 4th amendment and Texas State law that forbid police from cavity searches without a warrant just a few days before this incident occured on June 21st.
    http://jezebel.com/cops-forcibly-search-womans-vagina-after-smelling-weed-1723207106
    Our voice must now turn to Attorney General Loretta Lynch who built her career on defending cases like this, such as when a young Hatian man was sodomized by the NYPD using a broken broom stick during an alleged “cavity search.” This problem is too systemic and contains too much collusion through the CSAct and asset forfeitures to leave it up to internal affairs. Americans call for the immediate descheduling of marijuana and the striking of civil asset forfeitures from the CSAct. There exists a 4th amendment and we WILL defend it.
    Don’t stay angry Miles; get even. It’s just a Take Action button away.

    @Thomas
    I feel compelled to inform you that it may very well be that Ms. Corley may very well have been hiding %.02 of marijuana in her vagina and the unwarranted search by Harris county deputy sherriffs would STILL have been illegal. And even if the police report states Ms. Corley allegedly said “Go ahead and strip search me,” (to which she denies and the evidence of restraint contradicts), the cavity search would STILL be illegal. These officers did this without a warrant, without consent, without moral or humane consideration and in a public setting by force. Ms. Corley deserves a huge settlement, AND our Constitution must be respected by Congressional reform of the Controlled Substances Act.

  16. Correction: ” Julian says” (not Miles) Sorry Miles, I guess if I’m going to chastise your ventilations I should type my name in correctly, not yours! 🙂

  17. The scent of cannabis has been thrown into the excuse market way too often by people caught doing something they and their parents would not be proud to perform. Raping people and using cannabis smells as an arguement mirrors the Iranian Courts’ judgements raping young women for the supposed crimes of their younger brothers. When will people demand their legislators cease hiding behind ignorance and intolerance because of their fears and baggage.

  18. @Miles-I’m outraged and I took action by asking my representatives to pass the CARERS Act.

    @Julian (aka Miles jk) I agree, this is the case for AG Loretta Lynch and DEA Expert Chuck Rosenberg to make a statement about, I would love to hear what they have to say about this. The LaGuardia Report and 1972 Shafer Commision Report already identify marijuana prohibition as the wrong approach.

    It’s never ok for cops to finger rape American citizens in a parking lot, NEVER.

    Food, fiber, fuel, medicine, the cure for cancer.

  19. First of all, this is rape and nothing less. And .02 grams of weed is not weed, its what falls off my tray as i roll a joint. You would find more weed in 1 ventruri of my left lung. It’s TEXAS people. Don’t expect much justice from that state, remember it gave berth to George W. Bush.

    She needs to sue, and she will win no doubt, then help Houston norml chapter as a spokeswoman to enact a medical marijuana program, then use some of her settlement to open a big ass non-profit dispensary with a major portion of the proceeds being given to help rehabilitate rape victims and single mothers.

    If there are any good cops left, I bet it’s embarrassing to put the uniform on and leave the house. This is a fucking tragedy!!!

  20. Thanks Julian!

    I’m sure that a lot of decent people are outraged and that they simply have chosen not to participate in a blog.

    It would be a better world if more people started participating instead of just watching from afar. But then, there I go dreaming again…

    The biggest problem with our country is that the rich have been buying politicians and coercing them to do their will; which has largely been anti-marijuana. They want to continue their indecent greedy insensitive exploits and use cannabis as a way to achieve it; and it’s disgusting!

  21. Nothing will change.

    Police run your life…in a Police State.

    Cops vs. Citizens has always been The Rule…in a Police State.

    Cops work for Corporate Rulers…and they always have…get used to it?

    So what if Cops beat… rape… and kill innocent Citizens.

    Protecting Rich White Men’s Money…and Serving their interest$…is their job!

    Nuthin’ new to see here.

  22. The war on drugs is like the war on terror. An excuse to humiliate people in the most degrading ways because the end justifies the means to those sociopaths.

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