Gretna Man Says He Was Humiliated During Strip Search
A Gretna man claims he was strip searched and humiliated in front of neighbors.
Darian Trotter has details and what deputies have to say about the stop.
“I heard him hollering and screaming,” witness Whitney Sylve said. “That’s something I have never ever heard him do before.”
Whitney Sylve is mortified after she says she saw her boyfriend and father of her two children strip-searched in public.
And that’s not all.
“From my observation, they was going in the man’s rectum,” Raymond Durant said.
“That hurted, cuz i never wanted to witness nothing like that,” Sylve said.
It happened Wednesday on Hinyub Street in Gretna.
Raymond Durant used his cell phone to record it from his second floor apartment.
“I wanted to make sure everybody was doing everything by the book,” Durant said.
“Raymond if you’re going to stand there and video tape us why don’t you just come down here and do it,” a narcotics officer could be heard saying off camera.
Witnesses say narcotics detectives dragged Samuels from his car at gunpoint, then placed handcuffs on his wrists and ankles.
A search of his car for drugs turned up nothing, that’s when officers allegedly conducted a cavity search; using flash lights to obstruct Durant’s camera.
“They violated his civil right now,” Durant said. “You don’t dig in a man’s rectum.” “You don’t sodomize a man on the street in front of all his neighbors and friends.”
We spoke to Samuels Friday by phone, from the Jefferson Parish Jail.
Trotter asked, “Did you give them permission to conduct a cavity search?’
Samuels replied, “No sir.” ‘They asked me to turn around.”‘ “I turned around, they took a flashlight in my behind,” he said. “They didn`t see nothing so i turned back around.”
That’s when Samuels says he was violated by several plain clothes officers.
“He was standing up with the officers surrounding him, laughing making comments about how nice his butt was and soft it was,” Sylve said.” Trotter asked, “You heard this?” “I heard this, yes,” Sylve said.
“There’s just no excuse for treating someone that way,” Marjorie Esman said.
Marjorie Esman is with the ACLU.
“For law enforcement to comment on somebody’s anatomy that i would say constitutes as sexual harassment,” Esman said. “This is abuse.”
Witnesses say Samuels yelled out in pain.
“Loud enough for me to hear him from my stairs,” Durant said.
Trotter asked Samuels by phone, “Have you received medical treatment?”
‘”Yes, I did see uh, uh a doctor,” Samuels replied.
Trotter asked, “What are your injuries?”
“I’m scared to use the restroom because my buttocks still hurt,” Samuels replied.
The family has filed a complaint with the N.A.A.C.P.
“That is not only a violation of civil rights but a violation of human rights,” Danatus King said.
In a statement, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office says a narcotics investigation led to the stop.” (In which) “Officers conducted a search that was shielded from public view,” Spokesman John Fortunato said.
“It could not have been too good a job that was done if the public was still able to see the gentleman’s private parts,” King said.
Investigators say they removed 0.6-grams of crack cocaine, from Samuels’ rectum.
“Regardless of what it is they think he did, regardless of what it was they ultimately found, there are other ways they could have conducted the search and gotten the exact same materials that they got,” Esman said.
“They just think because they have that badge they can do whatever they please,” Sylve said.
Fortunato went on to say, “If at any time the family believes officers acted inappropriately, by violating civil rights or department policy, they’re encouraged to file a complaint with U.S. Department of Justice.”
Samuels denies having drugs. However, he was charged with possession of crack cocaine.
The case is being investigated by JPSO’S Internal Affairs division.
Likewise, the N.A.A.C.P is investigating; as the family looks into legal recourse.