Man's Cry of 'Stop Fingering Me, Bruh!' Leads to Lawsuit

ACLU alleges what happened to MB Cottingham was unconstitutional
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2018 9:55 AM CDT

It's been more than a decade (seriously) since the line "don't tase me, bro" became infamous. Now, an uncomfortable variation on that theme. The ACLU on Wednesday filed a suit against Metropolitan Police Department officer Sean Lojacono for what it claims was an "unconstitutional and exceedingly invasive bodily search" of a 39-year-old DC resident absent a warrant, reasonable suspicion, or probable cause. As for the invasive part, MB Cottingham alleges he was anally probed on the sidewalk by Lojacono; Cottingham can be heard saying "Stop fingering me, bruh!" in video of the incident, per WJLA. The ACLU lays out the alleged timeline of the Sept. 27, 2017, encounter, in which Cottingham and his friends, while sitting outside on chairs in Bellevue, were asked by police if they had weapons on them.

After answering in the negative, the ACLU says Lojacono asked Cottingham what was in his sock, and he removed a bag containing a legal amount of marijuana: less than 1/8 ounce. Lojacono then began frisking him, with the ACLU claiming "Lojacono far exceeded the scope of a standard pat-down for weapons by jamming his fingers between Cottingham’s buttocks, sticking his thumb in his anus, and grabbing his scrotum, all through his sweatpants." Cottingham was handcuffed, then probed twice more, it adds, all through the sweatpants. No weapons or other drugs were recovered. Cottingham claims he was so distressed after the incident that he was unable to work for a month. (Read more stop and frisk stories.)

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