Body cavity search lawsuit - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Body cavity search lawsuit

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Two Houston women who filed a lawsuit that resulted in the firing of a female state trooper and the suspension of a male officer are now telling their version of events regarding a May 2012 traffic stop.

Brandy Hamilton and Alexandria Randle were driving back from a Memorial Day family beach outing when the male trooper stopped them for speeding. He thought he smelled marijuana, called for backup, searched the car and found a small cigarette fragment, then informed the women a cavity search would be conducted.

A Brazoria County sheriff's deputy responded before the female trooper arrived.

"I was embarrassed in a bikini on the side the road," Hamilton said.

A camera mounted on one of the officer's dashboard captured grainy video and audio. The audio suggests the women were not in for a simple frisk and pat down search.

"The male officer, his words verbatim were: we're going to get familiar with your womanly parts," Hamilton said.

The recording captures a male saying, "This is what's gonna happen. Trooper Bui here is going to search you and search your friend. She's not going to find nothing is she?"

A woman's then says, "No, sir."

The male replies, "She's about to get up close and personal with your woman area."

The women used the words, assault and molestation, to describe what they thought about the search.

"I wouldn't even open my legs and she forced my legs open and she did that and turned me over and did it to my backside," Hamilton said. "(It happened) on the side of the road, in broad daylight, in the middle of the day on Memorial Day with traffic going down the freeway."

Randle was searched after Hamilton.

"We were assaulted in the worst way possible," she said. "We weren't asked if we could be touched."

The body searches turned up empty, but the events of that day have led the women to file a lawsuit against the Department of Public Safety and Brazoria County.

It also led to a DPS internal investigation. The female trooper was fired last week.

"I'm glad what happened to her, happened to her," Hamilton said.

The male trooper is currently on suspension while the investigation continues. An agency spokesperson released a statement announcing their employment status, but said the agency had "no further information to provide" due to pending litigation.

Brazoria County leaders are also not commenting.

But the women and their attorneys are talking. When asked why they wanted to share their story, Randle said," "So that this doesn't happen to anyone else here in Houston."

Allie Booker is the lead attorney for the women.

"It proves to all women out there that guess what? You can't help you were born a woman. Every time we pull you over you might end up getting sexually assaulted," she said.

Tara Long, another attorney on the case, said, ""Women should be aware. Men should be aware. This could happen to anybody."

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