A 54-year-old New Mexico woman is suing US customs and a hospital after an escalating series of drug searches that took six hours and yielded no sign of drugs—only a $5,000 hospital bill for her trouble. Some details, as rounded up by Raw Story, Reason, and the AP:
- The unidentified woman got stopped returning from Mexico at the El Paso border crossing, when a drug-sniffing dog got agitated. She underwent a strip-search and cavity searches, according to her lawsuit. Agents didn't even shut the door, it adds.
- When those turned up nothing, she got taken to the University Medical Center of El Paso, where doctors gave her laxatives and observed a bowel movement. Still no sign of drugs.
- After that, she got X-rayed and then underwent a CT scan, at which point authorities released her without charges. The medical center later sent her a $5,000 bill for its tests.
The ACLU has taken up the case, and its complaint is here
. "The failed drug war and militarized border region have created an environment in which law enforcement officials increasingly inflict extreme and illegal searches on innocent Americans," says a local legal director for the group. (Read more Customs and Border Protection