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Friday, July 24, 2009

Man Forcibly Sedated To Be Searched For Drugs

He didn't get paid nearly enough.
Times Union

By BRENDAN J. LYONS, Senior writer
Click byline for more stories by writer.
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.


Anonymous said...

These are Gestapo tactics! I can't believe he only received $125,000 for this forcible "rape" by the police and the hospital.

I'm surprised they didn't kill him and claim he died from an overdose. The police and the hospital should be prosecuted.

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Katharine said...

1. Ridiculous. War on some drugs when in an attempt to find drugs someone is forcefully drugged.... sigh.

2. I see you have a banner for the Albuquerque conference on your site. I'm assuming that means you're going? I'm probably going to (like 95% chance)! I'm so excited to meet you and all the other people I read/have connected with online re: drug policy!

Anonymous said...

A lawsuit is fine and dandy (although not enough for what he endured), but what about criminal charges against the persons responsible? If a private citizen did something like this illegally to another person, they'd go to prison for many, many years. Officers should not be above the law.

Anonymous said...

"Freedom To Yell At The Police" has my thoughts. It is a growing problem and must end. I read this particular Gestapo article with a dropped jaw. This is going to continue until there is a much needed revolution.

Anonymous said...

I think we citizens should stick a camera up the butt of our leaders and see whats wrong with them for continuing to allow this kind of police action to continue. djw