Pussy-Maced During A Strip Search

I’m pretty sure prison guards aren’t supposed to be pepper-spraying cooperative inmates on the genitals:

A New Mexico woman claims she suffered for weeks after a Bernalillo County corrections officer strip-searched her and sprayed mace in her vagina.

“It’s tantamount to torture,” Peter Simonson, the Executive Director of ACLU of New Mexico said.

The ACLU, on behalf of Marlene Tapia, filed a federal lawsuit this week.

According to court records, police arrested Tapia for a probation violation tied to a previous drug case. While at the Metropolitan Detention Center, Tapia said two officers strip searched her and asked her to bend over at the waist. That’s when they noticed a plastic baggie protruding from Tapia’s vagina.

Instead of taking Tapia to a doctor to have the baggie removed, she said one of the officers – Blanca Zapater – sprayed a chemical agent directly on her genitals twice.

Simonson said the chemical agent was mace.

Tapia said she suffered “severe pain that lasted for several weeks including burning, swollen genitals and painful urination,” according to the court records.

Simonson said ACLU of New Mexico has never litigated a case like this before and that it stands out.

“It’s just the maliciousness, the wanton disregard, wanton maliciousness that the corrections officer demonstrated,” he said. “This is the kind of chemical that is intended to be sprayed on other parts of the body, to cause pain, but to spray it on the very most sensitive part of a person’s body only doubles the pain.”

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