WaPo: Watch Blog: Forced catheterizations are a good reminder that the drug war is as barbaric and cruel as ever by Radley Balko:
Here’s a disturbing report published last week by the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, S.D.:
A mesh bag blurred Dirk Sparks’ vision.
He lay hooded and handcuffed as four police officers pinned him to a hospital exam table.
Through the patterned light, he saw a fifth officer filming the procedure.
His pants were loosened and pulled below his waist.
A nurse at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital in Pierre inserted a pencil-sized tube into Sparks’ urethra to drain his bladder. Moments later, an officer with the Pierre Police Department held a cup of Sparks’ urine that soon would be sent off for drug testing.
“It was degrading,” Sparks said. “I was angry. I felt like my civil rights were being violated.”
Hours earlier, police responded to a domestic dispute at Sparks’ home. When officers observed him acting “fidgety,” they asked for a urine sample. When Sparks refused, police sought a warrant from a Hughes County judge to obtain a urine sample by “medically accepted means.”
In Pierre, those means have repeatedly included forcibly catheterizing people who refuse or are unable to provide a sample. Officers subjected a 3-year-old boy to a similar procedure in February as part of a child welfare investigation, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
The paper first reported on Sparks’s case last year. …