NJ Trooper Strip Searches Man for Drugs on Hi-Way at Traffic Stop
Video of a New Jersey State Trooper searching a man's underwear for drugs on the highway while he is pulled over for tailgating has surfaced more than a year after the incident, raising claims of a possible violation of body cavity search requirements and procedures.
The trooper said he smelled marijuana on the 23-year old driver after pulling him over and searched his car and his pockets without finding anything before saying, “If you think this is the worst I’m going to do, you have another thing coming, my friend."
According to Philly.com, when the trooper said he planned to take the driver to the station for a body search, the man asked if he was being charged and whether such a search was legal. He said that if he had no choice about the search, he wanted it to be conducted in front of the dashboard camera.
The trooper is shown on dash-cam and police cam video putting on latex gloves and reaching inside the handcuffed man’s underwear as the two stood on the shoulder of a Burlington County highway.
No drugs were found during the search and the motorist is now planning to sue the state for civil rights infractions.
The videos were obtained by John Paff, who runs the New Jersey Libertarian Party’s Open Government Advocacy Project. He frequently requests court documents and police videos and posts them on his website, NJ Open Government Notes.
A state police spokesman said the agency has launched an internal affairs investigation into the traffic stop, which occurred on March 8, 2017. The troopers are still on active patrol pending the results of the probe.
Here is a short edit of the video on the trooper's roadside body search from Philly.com. What do you think? Is this really the normal state police procedure in such cases or did this trooper go far beyond his authority?