Hope Steffey on the floor of the PD being strip searched.
I don't know if you all have noticed. But ever since 9/11 we have moved to the point of the state having more and more control of our lives, especially in the area of the police. I know that as AA's many of us have an innate distrust of the police anyway. But I never felt that way. As you all know, I was raised all over the US, and as a result, it enabled me to see things from many perspectives. I know this is not a political blog, however, socialism is an integral part of our lives, and as such sometimes these things must be discussed.
The reason I feel the following story is relevant (Although it involves a ww) is twofold.
1. I deplore seeing ppl having their rights violated, regardless of their ethnicity. IOWs, I don't want to see ANY woman sexually dehumanized and treated in such a horrific manner, as this video depicts.
And 2. If they can get away with doing this to an attractive, married, middle class, white woman, what the hell do you think they could get away with doing to the average WOC???
The following scenario involves a youngish ww who apparently got into an altercation with a family member. The family member apparently struck her, and she was crying. this resulted in her cousin calling the police. Once the officer reported to the house, she was asked for her Licence. At this point she mistakenly gives the officer her deceased sister's Licence, (by mistake). When she tries to take it back and explain it's the license of her deceased sister (which she keeps as a memento) he becomes enraged, and apparently thinks she's trying to pull some sort of scam. He was heard telling her that he did not give a damn about her dead sister, and refusing to give it back. Anyway, things progress from bad to worse with the officer deciding to take her in, and book her, (apparently for providing false information, and disorderly conduct.) She was put in the back of a police cruiser, and taken to the booking station. Once there she was asked a series of questions, such as do you have any sharp objects, do you have any drugs, have you ever contemplated suicide etc. When they got to the suicide question, she hesitated, and asked "now or ever?" At this point the interview stops and she is immediately seized by 7 officers. They threw her to a cell floor and began to bodily rip her clothing from her body. (She was handcuffed at the time) She can be heard screaming and crying as she is forcibly stripped of all her clothing in front of all the officers, (as well as anyone else in the vicinity. My description really does not do this horrific scene justice so I am including the video links: http://www.wkyc.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=82447
Be sure to see it before they remove it because she is now suing the entire police department. And I for one hopes she gets millions! I think it's horrible how she was treated. Watching it was akin to watching a person being tortured. She's on the floor, butt naked, and crying piteously while these men and women are forcibly stripping her of every shred of her dignity. As a woman, it's extremely hard to watch, and I felt like crying with her. Hurry and see the video before it's removed. She described the ordeal to her husband as being raped without being penetrated. I think that's sums it up perfectly, because watching it reminds you of an unfinished rape. She also claims she was beaten off camera, thrown face down (which resulted in a cracked tooth, and bulging disk, and we left naked, shivering, and crying, without medical care on a cold cement floor for over 6 hours. Like I said I hope she gets every penny she is suing for. I realize the police have a hard job, and I am trying to be objective. But I saw the tapes, and I feel that even if she was guilty of disorderly conduct -as they claim- there is NO excuse for 7 ppl to jump on a 125lb woman, take her down so roughly her tooth is cracked, and a disk is bulged, and then strip off her clothing like she's a hardened criminal! Nevermind the fact that men are NOT SUPPOSED to ever be in the room when a female is being strip searched under ANY circumstances! I'm horrified by how this woman was treated!! Read the account and watch the video, then tell me what you think ......
Currently Steffie (the victim) is suing and I wish her all the luck with her lawsuit. I am not one of those ppl who hate the police. But what I hate with a passion is injustice, and as far as I'm concerned. That's exactly what this was....
Below is the news account of the incident.... By the way ladies, if you are ever arrested, regardless of how minor the charge is. If they ask you if you have ever contemplated suicide, regardless of whether you've ever thought about it, tell them NO!
CANTON -- Hope Steffey's night began with a call to police for help. It ended with her face down, completely naked and sobbing on a jail cell floor.
Steffey says Stark County sheriff's deputies used excessive force and assaulted her during a strip search 15 months ago, according to a federal lawsuit.
Stark County Sheriff Timothy Swanson denies the allegation.
Steffey's attorney says her clothes, including her underwear and bra, were stripped from her body by at least seven male and female sheriff's deputies and jail workers. She lay face down in handcuffs at the time.
"Hope begged and pleaded with her ... assailants to stop," the lawsuit says. "There was no forcible penetration but Hope felt as if she was being raped."
The sheriff denies this was a strip search.
The sheriff's policy requires officers conducting any strip search to be of the same sex.
Her attorney, David Malik, said Steffey, 41, was never asked to voluntarily remove her clothes. In an e-mail, Swanson said Steffey was asked to remove her clothes but refused. He said deputies took them off for her own safety.
Swanson declined to comment further, saying the details would come out in court.
Channel 3 News obtained exclusive video of Steffey's night in the Stark County jail cell. You can click the link at the bottom of the page to view it. A warning: it is difficult to watch.
Steffey declined to be interviewed for this story. But her husband, a high school educator, talked to Channel 3's Tom Meyer.
Greg Steffey said his wife is still traumatized. But the couple wants the story told to prevent it from happening to someone else.
"This could be your wife or anyone's wife," Greg Steffey said.
He said he still can't believe this happened to Hope, a 125-pound woman who, earlier that night, turned to police for help.
"You don't treat people like this," Greg Steffey said. "I don't think murderers are treated like this much less people charged with disorderly conduct."
Steffey's ordeal with the Stark County Sheriff's deputies began after her cousin called police for help.
In a 9-1-1 call, her cousin said Steffey had been assaulted by another cousin.
When a Stark County deputy arrived, he asked for Steffey's driver's license. She accidentally turned over her dead sister's license, which she said she keeps in her wallet as a memento, the lawsuit says.
The deputy refused to give the license back and told Steffey to "shut up about your dead sister," according to her attorney.
The sheriff denied that in a written response to the lawsuit.
Eventually, Steffey was arrested and taken to the Stark County Jail. She was later charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
After her clothes were removed, she was locked in a cell. To stay warm, she wrapped herself in toilet paper. She remained in the cell for six hours.
During that time, she was not allowed to use a phone or seek medical attention for injuries she suffered that night, including a cracked tooth, bulging disc and bruises, the lawsuit says.
The sheriff denies that.© 2009 WKYC-TV