The Anal Rape Non-Drug Bust in New Mexico: The Reason for the Warrant

The excellent Popehat blog
gets the specifics on the warrant
that led to the anal rape and
torture of David Eckert in New Mexico, which I
blogged about yesterday

You can read the specific language of the actual warrant at his
post, but here is his accurate summation of it:

The factors that allegedly justify police intrusion into David
Eckert’s anus are:

  • That his hands were shaking and he avoided eye contact during a
    traffic stop;
  • He refused to consent to a search of his person;
  • He stood erect with his legs together;
  • No drugs were found in his car or in a pat-down of him (police
    pat-downs for weapons often turn up drugs, which mysteriously feel
    like dangerous weapons when touched by police, or which are
    immediately identifiable as drugs when touched by police);
  • A drug dog (with no information given about the dog’s training
    or qualifications or success rate) “alerted” to his car seat
    (though no drugs were found in his car); and
  • An unidentified Hidalgo County K-9 officer asserted, without
    any specificity, that Eckert had previously hidden drugs in his

That’s all.  It really comes down to three things: 
(1) subjective officer impressions that Eckert looked nervous, (2)
a dog alerting on his seat, and (3) an unnamed cop making an
unspecific claim that he had previously hidden drugs in his

The first factor is smoke and mirrors.  It is increasingly
clear in America that a reasonable person should be fearful during
an encounter with police, who can generally shoot you (or
your dog)
with probable
 and who, it appears, can arrange for you to be
systematically anally raped if the mood strikes them…..

The second factor — the dog alert — has its own problems, but at
any rate does not connect drugs to Mr. Eckert’s anus. The third
factor is effectively an anonymous tip. The affiant, Officer
Chavez, does not identify the officer, explain the basis for the
officer’s knowledge, or offer any details about the alleged
instances in which drugs were found in Mr. Eckert’s
anus. Anonymous
tips must be corroborated to support probable cause
, and this
effectively anonymous tip isn’t.

Mr. Eckert asserts that drugs were never found in his anus by
any law enforcement agency. If true, that suggests someone lied –
the K-9 officer who allegedly told Officer Chavez that, or Officer
Chavez…..In deciding whether false information was provided to
the court to secure the warrant, consider this: the Hidalgo County
K-9 officer’s report on the incident here doesn’t
mention any such knowledge about Eckert
 and doesn’t say
he conveyed any such information to Officer Chavez. Do you think
that would have made it into his report if he had?

Jacob Sullum blogged yesterday about the
mysterious powers of dogs to justify anal rape

from Hit & Run

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