He didn't get paid nearly enough.
| By BRENDAN J. LYONS, Senior writer |
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First published: Saturday, July 18, 2009
| ALBANY -- A man who was forcibly sedated so his body could be searched for drugs that were never found will receive $125,000 under an out-of-court settlement reached recently with Albany County and Albany Medical Center Hospital.|
The settlement stems from a federal lawsuit filed two years ago by Tunde Clement, an ex-convict arrested by sheriff's investigators on March 13, 2006, at the Albany bus terminal.
Clement was carrying a backpack when he stepped off a bus from New York City and was quickly confronted by investigators who suspected he may be carrying drugs.
Clement, 35, who police claim had an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court in a neighboring city, was handcuffed and taken to a police station where he was strip-searched. No contraband was found, so Clement was taken to Albany Med, where doctors forcibly sedated him with powerful drugs against his will.
Sheriff's investigators did not obtain a search warrant for the procedure, and hospital officials did not require them to produce one. Police and hospital officials considered the matter a "medical emergency."
While Clement was under sedation, a camera was inserted in his rectum, he was forced to vomit and his blood and urine were tested for drugs and alcohol. Scans of his digestive system were performed using X-ray machines, according to hospital records obtained by the Times Union.
Clement spent more than 10 hours in custody before being released on an appearance ticket for resisting arrest -- a charge that was later thrown out by an Albany City Court judge.
"I think the settlement speaks for itself," said John F. Queenan, Clement's attorney in the federal lawsuit.
Clement's suit claimed his civil rights were violated. He filed the federal complaint against Albany Med and several doctors and nurses, and also sued Albany County and Sheriff James Campbell, Inspector John Burke, who heads the narcotics squad that arrested Clement, and eight investigators assigned to Burke's unit.