Yesterday, a 5-4 Supreme Court decision gave police officers the right to strip search after any arrest.
The ruling stems from a 2005 incident in New Jersey, where Albert W. Florence (second image) was wrongly jailed for eight days:
Florence had been in the passenger seat of a car driven by his wife when she was pulled over for speeding (his 4-year-old son was in the back). In the glovebox, he had a copy of a 2003 document proving he'd paid a court-imposed fine stemming from a traffic offense. But the officer who ran his ID mistakenly believed the fine had not been paid, and that there was a warrant out for his arrest. He spent over a week in jail while waiting for the discrepancy to be resolved, and during that time he was strip-searched twice.
Several members of the Supreme Court have been adamant about acknowledging that this only applies to prisoners entering general population. Judges are supporting the ruling because of the great risk that people might be carrying drugs in those deep, dark places.
But, you know, if you get arrested for tagging or something, they can still subject you to a potentially dehumanizing strip search. Great.