Court Rules Strip Search Of Vacaville Wheelchair User Excessive

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Vacaville police went too far when they pulled a drug suspect out of his wheelchair and took off his clothes in public, according to an appeals court ruling.

The 1st District Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled last week that evidence from the strip search of Samuel White cannot be used and the case was returned to Solano County Superior Court.

White had $160 that a police informant gave him for methamphetamine.

Two officers lifted him into the air while a third yanked his pants off and pulled his underwear to his knees in plain view of passing drivers and customers at a nearby hamburger stand.

The money was found in his crotch.

The appeals court says Vacaville police humiliated White and violated his rights.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

  • EN

    What do you expect? The police always try to abuse their power. To those that support the police, would you still feel the same if your rights were violated?

  • tn

    Pulled the guy’s pants down to his knees? And found drugs in this guy’s crotch? As passerby-ers passed a hamburger stand? At least it wasn’t a hot-dog stand.

  • sftparty

    have the 3 “officers involved been fired and due to the probability that children in those passing cars, have they been charged with indecent exsposure?

    There should now be 3 job openings in Vacaville.

    this is the kind of government behavior you get when the US constitution has been suspended folks!

    • sftparty

      the suggestions above are a bit harsh and I hope that this incident, if reported accurately, might be include in police training thru out CA. And all involved learn from it. perhaps, the officers involved will be better cops due to this learning exsperience and serve the citizenry as the great majority of police officers do.

  • mechanic

    I hate drug dealers; but it does seem that they could have taken him “downtown” and performed the strip search at the PD(??). I hope they don’t drop the charges for the “dealing” part though.

    • The Truth

      Why hate the drug dealers? They are just making a profit off a market that was artificially created with us supporting ridiculous drug policy for decades. It is a case of simple supply and demand.

      The “War on Drugs” is a joke. We can NEVER stop the war on drugs. Why? Because we can’t win against abstract concepts. Other abstract “wars” that we fought are against concepts like “Terrorism” or “Communism.” Compare the war on Terrorism versus the war in Iraq. In Iraq, we had the “Deck of Cards” as a defined goal… thus, people could see that we were winning the war every time that deck got smaller. Now look at Bin Laden…. we killed him and yet the war on the abstract concept of terror is still continuing.

      Illegality doesn’t stop people from doing what they want. For instance, it is illegal for me to drive above the speed limit, but I do it every single day. It is illegal for me to jaywalk and yet I do it. It is illegal for people (not me lol) to download music from others off the internet, yet people do it. And so on and so forth.

      It is our body and we should have the right to destroy it if we want to… but we can’t even do that as suicide is also illegal… and yet of course people still do that as well. We have so many people incarcerated because we want to fool ourselves into believing that if we make certain things illegal they won’t happen and thus we make WAY too many items illegal.

      As a result, we have more people in jail BOTH in aggregate and per capita of any nation on the entire planet! China has a BILLION more people than we do and have fewer people in jail. Stop and think about that for a minute.

      We need to EDUCATE people about drugs. By making them legal, we have a massive windfall of cash to accomplish this goal by taxing the drugs.. Check out how the meth education campaign worked in Montana. For instance, cocaine isn’t all that bad in moderate doses on occasion, but if you take it with alcohol, it then becomes extremely dangerous. The same is true for alcohol mixed with ecstasy for teens. If they purchased these drugs legally from a pharmacist, all of those people would be educated BEFORE receiving the drugs, plus they’d know proper dosage and the purity level would always be the same. Isn’t that much better than what we have now… an underground of crime, violence and drugs cut with dangerous chemicals (which puts even more profit in the hands of the dealers)?

      If people choose to OD and kill themselves after being educated/warned, then that benefits the human race by removing their genes from our genetic pool.

      You can go to ANY decent sized high school in the country and have a 99% chance of obtaining any illegal drug you want. In fact, it is easier for teens to obtain ILLEGAL drugs than LEGAL drugs such as alcohol because alcohol is regulated and requires store owners to see a valid ID. So to think that we should keep spending a fortune on fighting the “War on Drugs” is utter insanity.


      • mechanic

        Not much CHEER in the people and families I know that have been affected by alcohol and drug addiction. You sure used a lot of words to justify your habits;
        but, I could not make out even one word of sense it this rant of another adle-brained pothead. Guys like this are the main reason our society and future
        are pretty much going down the toilet. Clean and sober is still the the only way to a truly rewarding and meaningful life. Wake up and smell the coffee!

      • The Truth

        ****** Mechanic writes: “Not much CHEER in the people and families I know that have been affected by alcohol and drug addiction.”

        “Addiction” is not good regardless whether it is drug related or not. Gambling doesn’t cause much cheer nor does hoarding, etc, etc, etc. Just because a certain number of people get addicted to something doesn’t mean everyone else in the country should have their freedoms revoked as a result.

        In fact, if we LEGALIZED drugs, the trillions of dollars that we’d save over time would easily pay for better help and treatment to those that are addicted.

        As for alcohol since you mentioned it, how exactly did prohibition work out for the United States? It didn’t stop people from drinking and brought rise to hard core gangsters like Al Capone by creating an artificial market for it. Moreover, alcohol and cigarettes are “legal” drugs that are worse for people than “illegal” marijuana is.

        ****** “You sure used a lot of words to justify your habits; but, I could not make out even one word of sense it this rant of another adle-brained pothead.”

        LOL… you’re pretty quick to jump to assumptions there hombre. Just because someone supports legalizing something doesn’t mean they do it. The fact that you couldn’t make sense of a logical argument doesn’t surprise me after reading your response.

        ****** “Guys like this are the main reason our society and future are pretty much going down the toilet”

        It is more like simpleton mindsets like yours that are ruining this country. We are taking away people’s freedoms (that our ancestors valued so deeply that they spilled their own blood for them and we take these freedoms for granted), we are incarcerating citizens needlessly to the point where we have the most prisoners on Earth, we are spending a fortune on trying to stop a problem that can NEVER, EVER be solved while our children’s education lacks in comparison to other countries, etc. People like you are AFRAID of reality and choose instead to live in some utopian fantasy land.

        ******* “Clean and sober is still the the only way to a truly rewarding and meaningful life.”

        Really??? The only way? Says who? Let’s look at some docu-mented drug users to prove your notion is fallacious:

        We can start off with Sigmund Freud who used cocaine of which some experts believe led him to discover his psychoanalytical theories. After all, Freud only created the foundations that a massive branch of medicine that is widely used today. You can even read Freud’s writings “Uber Coca.”

        Wilhelm Fliess who knew Freud and came up with many of his own brilliant concepts advocated the use of cocaine as well.

        Ernst von Fleischl-Marxow used both morphine and cocaine and came up with new concepts concerning electrical activity in the brain.

        Ralph Abraham is currently a professor at UC Santa Cruz and has taught at such places as Berkeley and Princeton. He’s become a leader in new fields in mathematics particularly dynamical systems theories or chaos math. In an interview with GQ magazine, he explained how psychedelic insights had influenced mathematical theories. “In the 1960s a lot of people on the frontiers of math experimented with psychedelic substances. I know this because I was a purveyor of psychedelics to the mathematical community… And mathematical advance has always been the motor behind the advancement of consciousness.”

        Timothy Leary was a huge proponent of LSD. One of the great stories about Leary is that he developed a standard personality test used by prison officials to classify prisoners according to their potential escape profile. Ironically, Leary himself was convicted many years later and prison officials unwittingly gave him the standard “Leary Test.” Thus, he was able to give answers which showed him to be a low flight risk which got him placed into a minimum security facility of which he soon escaped from. lol Leary came up with a huge list of important scientific discoveries and taught at Harvard. The CIA also funded his research.

        Richard Alpert (aka Ram Dass) either taught at or had research contracts with Harvard, Berkeley, Yale and Stanford amongst others made large contributions while experimenting with mushrooms and LSD.

        Allen Ginsberg (won the National Book Award) promoted the use of LSD and marijuana while warning people of the dangers of tobacco.

        Ken Kesey (wrote One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) used cocaine, mescaline (peyote), LSD and others.

        Carl Sagan (Pulitzer Prize winner, NASA award winner, etc) was a regular marijuana user. He was close friends with Dr. Lester Grinspoon (who I’ll get to later) which they wrote a book together in which Sagan explains how marijuana helped inspire his works.

        Stephen Jay Gould (President of the American Assn for the Advancement of Science and award the super prestigious Darwin-Wallace Medal only awarded every 50 years, Harvard Professor, etc) was a regular marijuana user.

        Richard Feynman revolutionized modern physics. He’s won the Nobel Prize, the Albert Einstein Award, etc, etc, etc. He only helped to create the atomic bomb and said that his experiences with LSD and marijuana were beneficial to his intelligence.

        Andrew Weil (you’ve probably seen him on TV) has a national best selling book, basically established the field of integrative medicine and has been on the cover of Time Magazine. Weil studied under the afore-mentioned Dr. Leary at Harvard. He’s claimed to have tried every drug from “Chocolate to Morphine” and even has a psychedelic mushroom named after him.

        Kary Mullis won the Nobel Prize in chemistry which essentially allows scientists to duplicate DNA. He was a marijuana user and his LSD experiences led him to say the following: “I took plenty of LSD. A lot of people were doing that in Berkeley back then. And I found it to be a mind-opening experience. It was certainly much more important than any courses I ever took.” He went on to say that LSD was directly responsible for his coming up with the science that led to his Nobel Prize winning work. He also knew Albert Hoffman who is the father of LSD and just died several years ago at the ripe old age of 102.

        As you can see, some of the greatest minds used mind-altering substances. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp.

        Some of the greatest musicians in our era (Brian Wilson, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, etc, etc, etc) were all big drug users. Sherlock Holmes, Stephen King, Robert Louis Stevenson, etc, etc, etc were all drug users.

        Why do you think that is? It is because drugs can EXPAND the mind in ways that it is unable to on its own. Of course too much of anything is a bad thing… heck, table salt can kill you if you take enough of it. Moderation is the key to the individual.

        Dr. Grinspoon who worked with Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman and Dr. Weil above is a Harvard professor and doctor. I’ve spoken with him personally on the phone on several occasions. He published the following article several years ago talking about marijuana as a “Wonder Drug” of which I fully support:

        So in the end, you are simply ignoring reality. The reality is that we’ve spent a FORTUNE trying to stop drugs and haven’t made a dent. As I said earlier, hard core drugs can be found in virtually every single decent sized high school in the country with relative ease. So we’ve been trying valiantly for decades, we’ve haven’t come anywhere near stopping it, we’ve been burning a fortune in cash in the process and we’ve been throwing our own citizens in jail for it.

        Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

        Thus, for you to think we should keep doing what we are doing makes you insane according to Einstein. Congrats on that.


  • Katrina Duvick

    Great, another useless drug dealer will not be getting a couple million dollars from the city.

  • Katrina Duvick


  • Mark

    Excessive? Jeez, ya think? If he had dropped trow in public he would have gone to jail for that alone, and been labeled a sex offender to boot. I hope they DO fire the cops. Anyone with that poor judgement should not be allowed to ride roughshod over the public, let alone be authorized to carry a gun.

    • Mark

      Incompetent cops… can you say Mehserle?

  • mindboggled

    I live in Vacaville and I’m having a very hard time believing that this happened. Assuming that it did, I expect to see at least one of those cops fired, if not all three. With this ruling, there is going to be a big lawsuit against the city. And the city will end up settling this stupidity out of court for a huge amount. This is totally moronic behavior, the strip search should have been conducted at the police station. I wonder if those idiots even advised the guy of his rights before they did it?

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