Friday, February 1, 2008

Jail strip search generates major feedback

My in-box has been filling up with viewer comments about last night's story on WKYC in which a group of Stark County Sheriff's Deputies are shown forcibly strip searching a woman at the jail.

It's odd for me to get emails when a collegeague, in this case Tom Meyer, put the story together and I had nothing to do with it ...

I've forwarded the notes I received to Tom, but here's just a sampling of what some viewers felt after seeing the story:


  • "I can't imagine ANY circumstances that would warrant such treatment, EVER. And being left in a jail cell with no clothing for 6 hours? This whole story is an outrage."
  • "I watched in horror, but not disbelief, the abuse that this woman went through. It must be brought out that this would be just as bad of an illegal act for a man to go through this terrible abuse."
  • "I saw the video of the Strip search of the woman by Stark County Sheriff Deputies last night on your news and was so disturbed. I have never been compelled to write a news channel , but this story made me sick to my stomach. "
  • "Paying this family money is NOT justice. I can't pay off people and not go to court for a crime, and this was a crime. These cops should serve time, hard time. As a matter of fact, they should be serving more time because they violated their oaths!"

I also heard quite a few folks debating the story on WNIR and elsewhere ... it really hit some folks hard.

Today, I spoke to the photographer who worked with Tom, and he told me that the raw video tape shook him up pretty good ... it was that graphic.

Part two will air tonight at 11 .. while we'll take another look at part one tonight on the Akron-Canton News at 10.

10 comments:

Malcontent said...

I was disturbed as well. I thought I was going to be sick. However, at the same time, I thought: What do we expect? Why are we shocked? Why should we think that this is NOT happening - probably more often than we think? To me, this is but a symptom of the cancer devouring our culture, our country. Face it, folks. The Bush/Cheney Admin. has made the rule of law obsolete. We have no rights. We have no habeas corpus. People think, "Hay. That CAN'T happen to me. I'm a good citizen and I obey the law." Right. It doesn't matter that you obey the law. That's the point. I think this incident is just a preview of the things to come. Welcome to the Fascist States of America.

TimFitz said...

While I detest what Bush/Cheney have done to the constitution I don't see the relevance here. This was a local police dept. doing something terrible. I don't think the police thought about Bush signing statement and the like while they were taking that woman's shirt off....

Buck said...

Eric, that is very disturbing. I wonder what part two will reveal. Anyway, I wonder if/when the husband was contacted while this was all going on. Regardless of what the sheriff says, 6 hours naked in a cell is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

This happened to my nephew in either Eastlake or Willoughby (can't remember for sure, it was 10+ years ago). The cops did it because he became mouthy. They get a kick out of it and were laughing, sick bastards. They are power crazy. This country is in the toilet, just like Washington, DC.

Anonymous said...

This happens more than one might think. The cops' lawyers are going to have a ball seating a jury on this one--citizens have had enough of the abuses across the country and being stepped on by out of control "authorities." This lady is in for one nice award. I hope it compensates her at least a little for the lifetime memories of injustice.

Hey, I just read an article about a local county jail's guards/deputies putting makeup on male inmates. And these people are relied upon to help victims? Riiiiight. All they want is a paycheck for no work, and to party.

Anonymous said...

The one guy I knew that became a cop used to wring the necks of pigeons for fun when he was a teen. As a cop, when he'd get a call to go to a disturbance, he'd wait a really long time to respond so everything was over with by the time he got there. What a guy.

TimJayFitz said...

Come on, we're gonna paint ALL cops as crooked now? Cops have more power(than most jobs) and when they abuse it it is more offensive, but it doesn't make every cop a terrible person.

Anonymous said...

This was one of the most one sided news stories I've ever seen and it portrayed the officers as the bad guys just as the promo suggested. This woman was convicted of charges, so obviously she was not the innocent victim she would like the future jury pool to believe she was, but Tom didn't focus on those facts until after the segment on night 2. Also he acknowledges that the sheriff's dept can't comment on the details due to the lawsuit, but that doesn't stop Tom from presented a slanted story anyways. This couple has found greedy lawyers who led them to believe a big payday is waiting for them at the taxpayers expense. Obviously this woman hasn't shared all the facts in the story and she obviously didn't cooperate with police. You've got to change into a jumpsuit when you go to jail and if you refuse, the deputies have no choice but to do it for you. It's recorded to protect both the victim and the officers doing their job. She certainly was refusing to cooperate. I've lost a great deal of respect for Tom Meyer as a reporter and for the station for allowing this to air. From the other comments posted to your blog, it's easy to see that the public is anxious to assume the officers were guilty of improperly handling the situation without knowing how hard their job is when you have an uncooperative person.

Anonymous said...

I think a whole lot of Americans will make "good Germans."

Anonymous said...

To those who would support the sheriffs, they have never been on the receiving end of their shocking treatment of prisoners. My son spent 4 hours there and was treated like an animal. They seemed to enjoy the power they had over the prisoners in their care and intended to punish and humiliate them as much as they were able. A simple request for a glass of water was denied after first stating " I don't have to get you s___. Get it from the sink." He decided not to tell them there was "feces in the sink." The constant barrage of cuss words and screaming at the prisoners was unsettling and frightening to say the least. They need to rotate or re-train those deputies! This needs to stop