A man forced by New Mexico police to undergo three enemas during a drug search has settled with local authorities for $1.6 million, CNN reports.
Motorist David Eckert, 54, filed a federal lawsuit in November against police after enduring a “14-hour-long humiliating and invasive police goose chase for illegal drugs.”
Eckert said he was pulled over by Deming, N.M., police in January 2013 after pulling out of a shopping plaza parking lot.
Police ordered him out of his car and said he appeared to be “clenching his buttocks.” A police dog allegedly indicated the scent of drugs on the car seat.
Eckert was arrested in a Wal-Mart parking lot and taken to jail. A Hidalgo County judge signed a search warrant that included an “anal cavity” search.
Police took Eckert to a Hidalgo County hospital to be searched, but the local hospital refused. Police then took Eckert to another county, where, against his will, he was subjected to multiple examinations, including three separate enemas and being forced to “defecate in front of doctors and police” on numerous occasions.
A colonoscopy was also performed.
No drugs were found. Weeks later, the hospital billed Eckert $4,539.
Eckert’s lawsuit alleged he was denied the opportunity to call his attorney; that the search warrant had expired by the time the doctors were examining him; that the procedures were carried out in a different county where the warrant wasn’t valid; and that police mocked him during the procedures and intentionally pulled back his privacy curtain while he was exposed, reports the Los Angeles Times.
A lawsuit against hospital officials and the Hidalgo County assistant district attorney has not been resolved.
“I feel grateful to live in the United States,” Eckert said in a statement. “Bad things happen, but in America there is a way to get justice.”
His attorney, Joe Kennedy, said, “He expects that it won’t happen to anyone else ever again.”
Deming, about 240 miles south of Albuquerque, sounds like a good place to avoid.