David Eckert isn’t dead, but he has to live the remainder of his life with the memories of what happened to him.
After pulling out of a Wal-Mart parking lot, Eckert was stopped by police for failing to make a complete stop at a stop sign. The officer claimed to have seen Eckert clench his buttocks while stepping out of the vehicle during the stop and promptly apprehended him. Officers obtained a search warrant for Eckert’s anus and took him to an emergency room in Deming, where physicians refused to search him, deeming the request as unethical in nature. The officer then took Eckert to another facility in Silver City, New Mexico — out of the officer’s and the warrant’s jurisdiction — where doctors agreed to perform the cavity searches on Eckert.
The following is a list of procedures performed on Eckert. Eckert did not consent to any of them.
- Abdominal x-ray; no narcotics were found.
- Digital exam of Eckert’s anus; no narcotics were found.
- Second digital exam of Eckert’s anus; no narcotics were found.
- Enema and forced defecation in front of doctors and officers; no narcotics were found.
- Second enema and forced defecation; no narcotics were found.
- Third enema and forced defecation; no narcotics were found.
- Second abdominal x-ray; no narcotics were found.
- Colonoscopy where a camera searched his anus, rectum, and large intestine; no narcotics were found.
Making matters worse, Gila Regional Medical Center in Silver Springs, where the procedures were conducted, billed Eckert for the tests performed without his consent. Eckert sued Hidalgo County and the city of Deming for the ordeal, taking a $1.6 million settlement.
Deming, New Mexico
January 2, 2013