Felix Booker had a body cavity search that tests the limits of search and seizure law. Mr Booker was lying naked on a gurney, breathing out of a tube, and medically paralyzed while a medical doctor searched his rectum. Mr. Booker was stopped in a routine traffic stop and arrested. Oak Ridge Police suspected cocaine was hidden in his body, so they took him to an emergency room for a body cavity search. Dr. Michael LaPaglia ordered a cocktail of drugs to paralyze Mr. Booker. He had to be placed on a breathing machine during the procedure. The search revealed Mr. Booker had 10.2 grams of crack cocaine hidden in his rectum. Mr.Booker was hauled off to jail once he woke up and is now facing federal drug charges in U.S. District Court. Mr. Booker’s lawyer, Bob Jolley, has asked the court to suppress the evidence from the body cavity search.
Here’s the key point. Tennessee has a specfic statute on body cavity searches. The Oak Ridge Police might have requested a federal prosecution to avoid Tennessee’s safeguards on body cavity searches.
Here is Tennessee’s law on body cavity searches:
Chapter 7. Arrest
I hope the Judge enters an order suppressing the search. Based upon what has been reported by the news media, it appears this seach of Mr. Booker’s body is outside all bounds of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition against illegal searches.