Pubdate: Wed, 15 Jul 2009
Source: Valley Voice, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 The Valley Voice
Author: Charity Mason


I am a female age 25. I was recently a passenger in a truck that was 
pulled over after an erratically driving biker driving in front of us 
called in a complaint.  The officer who pulled us over said he could 
smell marijuana and proceeded to search the driver, the other 
passenger and then myself.  We had no drugs.  I was wearing tight 
sweat pants and a spandex shirt with no bra.

The male officer got me to spread my legs with my arms out, in plain 
view of the oncoming traffic of the Nelson bridge.  He then began to 
run his hands over my back, my ass and up between my legs touching my 
crotch, and between my breasts while my boyfriend (the driver of the 
truck) was asking for them to bring in a female officer or a dog. 
They laughed and said they didn't need "bow wow" to know we had drugs 
on us.  There were no drugs.

I felt petrified, violated and humiliated.  I have always been taught 
to obey police officers - they are here to help...Well, there were 
two other officers watching the whole thing with smug grins on their 
faces.  If ever I have seen an abuse of power and disregard for human  I am crying while writing this letter.

I filed a complaint at the front desk of the Nelson police department 
and left a message to speak to another sergeant or officer or 
something.  I am feeling very oppressed and scared that they will try 
to tell me to forget about it, you see it on the movies all the time 
you know "protecting their own." This is the reason for the 
derogatory names for the police force. There is even more to this 
story but my hands shake when I try to write it. I'm having 
nightmares and feel nauseous when I think about it.

I don't feel comfortable going to talk to the police about the 
police. What a world.

What if I had been by myself?  Why should I suffer because some 
pervert wants a free feel?

I have a good friend that was pulled over for a suspected something 
or other that she did not do.  The officer said he smelled marijuana 
and ended up bending her over her hood pushing himself up against 
her, searching her, saying she was resisting.  He broke her cell 
phone at some point when she tried to answer it.  This girl weighs 
about 90 lbs soaking wet.  She was very shaken up about it, she cried 
telling me about it.

How can this practise continue?  Doesn't the government give out 
licences to smoke marijuana?  How many times can an officer search 
someone on a vague suspicion of suspected marijuana smell?  Then 
harass innocent women.  I would call that sexual harassment!

Just because they enforce the law does not mean they are above the law.

I had to speak out.  This will not do!

Charity Mason

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