David Eckert–the man who was stopped by police, suspected of drug possession, driven to a hospital, driven to a second hospital, forced to undergo multiple invasive surgeries, and billed for the abuse after no drugs were found–has obtained a $1.6 million settlement with New Mexico local authorities.
The settlement between Eckert and police in Deming and Hidalgo County, New Mexico brings a measure of closure to the horrifying incident, said Eckert’s lawyer.
“He feels relieved that this part is over and believes this litigation might make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else,” said Shannon Kennedy, Eckert’s lawyer, in a statement. (RELATED: Horror: Police force man to undergo invasive anal operation)
The fact that a similar thing already happened to at least two other people is only one bizarre detail in a tale that The Daily Caller ranked the Number 1 most shocking case of police abuse of 2013. (RELATED: TheDC’s Dirty Dozen: 12 SHOCKING police abuse stories of 2013)
Eckert was stopped by police for a routine traffic violation. Reportedly, he “clenched his buttocks” in a manner that made police suspicious he was carrying drugs. The officers obtained a warrant to search him, and drove him to a hospital for an examination. Medical experts at Members Memorial Hospital refused police requests to search Eckert, considering such requests patently unethical. (RELATED: It happened again: Police forced a second man to have invasive procedure)
Next, police took Eckert to Gila Regional Medical Center–and here, Eckert was not so fortunate.
Though the warrant had by this time expired, police and doctors subjected Eckert to a range of invasive, humiliating procedures, including X-rays and a colonoscopy.
Police found no drugs, and doctors sent Eckert the bill for his coerced hospital stay. (RELATED: STOP THE MADNESS: Third person reports being anally violated by police)
A spokesperson for Deming did not immediately respond to a request for clarification as to whether forced surgeries would continue to be a policing tactic of the department.
If $1.6 million seems like too small an amount of compensation given the horrifying ordeal, there is a good chance he has more coming: He also sued Gila Regional, and has not yet reached a settlement.