4/02/2009

Estrada Likes to Watch...

Is it just me or does anyone else get a chuckle when local yokel cops get caught breaking the law (in this case doing stuff that would land the rest of us on a sex offender registry) and then pull out their tiny violin to accompany their lament of "safety" or "the law favors criminals."

Anyway, down in Santa Cruz county here in Arizona the local sheriff has gotten caught in a dilemma. Seems Sheriff Estrada has enjoyed watching people undress for several years. He would even strip search or as he prefers to term it "view" people who hadn't even been arrested but were simply being held at the jail for other reasons (presumably questioning).

Well, the good sheriff (not to be confused with the guy from CHIPS) has gotten himself and the county sued for peeking and the settlements are around 9 grand each with extra money going to those who were strip searched by people of the opposite sex, in the view of other people, or by groups of deputies. There are also added funds for pregnant women who were physically violated by cavity searches, the elderly and disabled who were subjected to the strip searches regardless of status or offense.

Sheriff Estrada summed up his position by saying: "Garcia and others were subjected to visual searches in the interest of jail safety. Other counties probably will run into the same problem that Santa Cruz faced because the law tends to favor criminals rather than law enforcement. You want to make sure that people who come into the jail environment aren't coming in with contraband or weapons. People who get caught for the first time — that doesn't mean they haven't committed prior offenses before getting caught. They could have a history of drugs or violence. You never know." (source)

Yes, Sheriff let us just dispense with that pesky innocent until proven guilty thing. It's soooo inconvenient when you want to get your jollies and rocks off. Sheesh, guy. Just admit you broke the law and be grateful no one is making you and your deputies register as sex offenders which is exactly what would happen to anyone else caught illegally making people get naked for them under threat of confinement or violence. In this case since you're only having to shell out a civil settlement the law obviously does favor the criminals - those criminals being you and your deputies.

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