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Houston Women Sue DPS for Intrusive Cavity Search

Earlier this month, Angel Dobbs, 38, and her niece Ashley Dobbs, 24, settled a lawsuit with the DPS for $185,000 after they were subjected to a similar roadside cavity search.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBC Philadelphia

    The Texas Department of Public Safety is being sued by two Houston women who allege they were subjected to illegal full cavity searches on the side of a road during a traffic stop.

    The Houston Chronicle reports 27-year-old Brandy Hamilton and 26 year-old Alexandria Randle were stopped for speeding by trooper Nathaniel Turner as they returned home from the beach on Memorial Day 2012.

    The lawsuit, filed last week, alleges Turner radioed for a female officer to search both women for possible drugs.

    "Then Defendant Turner tells Plaintiff Hamilton `she is about to get up-close and personal with some womanly parts,"' the lawsuit says. Turner told Hamilton, "She (Bui) is going to search you, I ain't, because I ain't about to get up-close and personal with your woman areas ... she is going to put some gloves on."

    The women allege Trooper Jennie Bui used the same pair of gloves while performing full cavity searches on them while two male officers and passersby observed.

    A videotape shows that Hamilton was visibly upset while Bui was searching her. "Do you know how violated I feel?", the plaintiff can be heard telling the female officer in the recording of the dashcam audio.

    No drugs were found during the search but the women were given a ticket for possession of drug paraphernalia.

    In a statement, DPS officials say Bui was fired June 29 and Turner was suspended June 10 over the incident, the Texas DPS said in a statement Wednesday.

    The lawsuit also names as defendants DPS Director Steven McCraw; Brazoria County Sheriff's Deputy Aaron Kindred, who responded to the scene; and Brazoria County Sheriff Charles Wagner.

    Chief Deputy Jeff Adkins of Brazoria County SO declined to comment, saying, "We have no comment at all about pending civil litigation."

    Houston attorney Allie Booker represents the women and called the search a violation of her clients' constitutional rights.

    "These women were violated in ways that no person should endure in broad-open public, on the side of the road," the attorney states in the lawsuit. 

    Earlier this month, Angel Dobbs, 38, and her niece Ashley Dobbs, 24, settled a lawsuit with the DPS for $185,000 after they were subjected to a similar roadside cavity search.  In the Dobbs' case, the female officer who conducted the search now faces sexual assault charges.