Two women in Texas are filing lawsuits after a seemingly overzealous roadside search at the hands of Texas troopers that all took place on the dashboard camera.
Angel and Ashley Dobbs were stopped after an officer observed one of them tossing a cigarette butt out the window. Texas law designates this as littering, so the officer did have every reason to pull the ladies over. From there, the officer detected the smell of marijuana from inside the car. Following procedure, he asked for a female officer to stop by and search the two women while he searched the vehicle for illegal substances.
Thus far, everything seems on the up and up. If you don’t want inconveniences like this, don’t ride around smoking marijuana in your car, or driving one where someone (your boyfriend, perhaps) does. Searching the car once probable cause has been established is the officer’s right. And calling for a cursory search of the females persons is pretty standard too, not just to find contraband, but just for general officer safety. But the search these two women were subjected to seems to go a little further than the norm. The responding female officer was very thorough, even going as far as to stick her fingers into, well, you can see for yourself in the video below.
The particularly disturbing part of this is that the female officer uses disposable gloves in her search, but doesn’t change them in between the two women. Considering the invasive nature of the roadside search, this seems not just embarrassing, but kind of a public health situation as well.
Was there really enough cause here to believe that there was a substantial amount of marijuana involved to go to this extent, groping two women on the roadside in full view of passing vehicles? What do you think?