The City of Deming has released a statement regarding the man who was anally probed in a search for drugs.
- The City of Deming regrets the circumstances that led to the indignities suffered by Mr. David Eckert. The City, in collaboration with the New Mexico Municipal League Police Accreditation Team, is reviewing policies, procedures, and protocols for the Police Department's role in the events that transpired. The City of Deming and our new police chief have implemented new procedures to help eliminate the possibility of something like this ever happening again.
- It was alleged that officers of the Deming Police Department violated Mr. David Eckert's civil rights regarding circumstances involving a traffic stop and search of Mr. Eckert. In this case a skilled United States Federal Magistrate Judge mediated the case between Mr. Eckert and the City of Deming and the insurance company representing the City reached a settlement. It was the insurance carrier's prerogative to settle the case. In exchange for the monetary settlement, Mr. Eckert agreed that the City of Deming and individual officers named in the suit admitted no civil wrong-doing, including no violations of his civil rights. Other defendants remaining in the case have not settled this case and so this matter is on-going without further involvement from the City of Deming or its insurer.
- This unfortunate incident appears to be a systemic failure and the City of Deming expresses its sincerest of apologies to Mr. Eckert for his suffering.
The City of Deming and Hidalgo County settled the lawsuit in December for $1.6 million, according to a mid-January KOB-TV report.
A review of medical records, police reports and a federal lawsuit show deputies with the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office, police officers with the City of Deming and medical professionals at the Gila Regional Medical Center made some questionable decisions.
The incident began January 2, 2013 after David Eckert finished shopping at the Wal-Mart in Deming. According to a federal lawsuit, Eckert didn't make a complete stop at a stop sign coming out of the parking lot and was immediately stopped by law enforcement.
Eckert's attorney, Shannon Kennedy, said in an interview with KOB that after law enforcement asked him to step out of the vehicle, he appeared to be clenching his buttocks. Law enforcement thought that was probable cause to suspect that Eckert was hiding narcotics in his anal cavity. While officers detained Eckert, they secured a search warrant from a judge that allowed for an anal cavity search.
The lawsuit claims that Deming Police tried taking Eckert to an emergency room in Deming, but a doctor there refused to perform the anal cavity search citing it was "unethical."
But physicians at the Gila Regional Medical Center in Silver City agreed to perform the procedure and a few hours later, Eckert was admitted.
Read the full KOB-TV story on the settlement and the case at http://bit.ly/19pISeZ