The mere suspicion of marijuana was enough to provoke a thorough search of the woman’s car and, when nothing was found, Ms. Corley was subjected to a horrific and humiliating roadside body cavity search, while being held down by two police officers. As Corley described, “They sexually assaulted, raped me and molested me.” […]
As Radley Balko reported in the Washington Post, there have been a number of these cases. So many that the Texas legislature was shamed into passing a law that’s supposed to prohibit such searches without a warrant. However, that law doesn’t take effect until next month. Balko writes, “That the state would need such a law in the first place speaks volumes.”
Last Friday the Seneca, South Carolina, police department identified Lt. Mark Tiller as the officer who shot and killed 19-year-old Zachary Hammond in a Hardee’s parking lot on July 26. Hammond, who was unarmed, was on his first date with 23-year-old Toni Morton, who was eating an ice cream cone in the front passenger seat of his car at the moment of the shooting. Morton was later charged with possessing 10 grams of marijuana. According to The New York Times, police had targeted her as part of “a sting operation.” The Washington Post says “undercover agents set up the drug buy.” […]
Hammond and Morton were minding their own business when Tiller initiated the use of force because of a pending transaction involving a third of an ounce of marijuana, a drug that is legal for medical or recreational use in 23 states. Furthermore, it was the police who arranged the transaction to begin with, in an attempt to catch Morton doing something that shouldn’t be treated as a crime because it violates no one’s rights. That’s what a drug sting is: a trumped-up version of a fake crime.
Whether or not the shooting is deemed to be legally justified, it is outrageous that a young man is dead for such a stupid reason.