HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Editorials & Other Articles (Forum) » The True Horror of the 'F...

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 10:27 AM

The True Horror of the 'Florence' Decision {strip search}


“Apparently without touching the detainees, an officer looked at their ears, nose, mouth, hair, scalp, fingers, hands, arms, armpits, and other body openings.” So writes Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in the majority decision in Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders, which affirmed a jailer’s right to command just about anyone in police custody to submit to a strip-search. How redolent of the slave auction block was my first thought. And, then, in a different way, how evocative of the scene in Henry V in which Katherine of France recites some English words that the lady Alice has just taught her: d’hand, de fingres, de nails, d’arm, d’elbow, de nick, de sin, de foot, de coun.

he scene is comic—Shakespeare’s audience would have heard “foot” and “coun” as puns on “fuck” and “cunt”—and it is dark. Katherine is the daughter of the besieged French king, upon whose armies Henry is gaining. Should Henry win the war, or her father make a deal, Katherine will be part of the trade: her hand, fingers, nails, arm, elbow, neck, shin, foot and gown the English king’s possessions as surely as a piece of France.

Sex is not exempt from the pageant of state violence, Shakespeare is saying, as potent a presence in the chitter-chat of a lady’s bower as it is in Henry’s ultimatum to the townsfolk quaking at the gates of Harfleur. (The people submit, thereby sparing themselves and their children from Henry’s ghastly promises of rape and murder; Katherine weds.) Catapulting across the ages to our own time, sexual menace is so embedded in the American prison complex, in its elaborations of control and projections for public entertainment—on what other plane do rape jokes win the easy laugh?—that inevitably it must seep into the language of the law. And so it has. “Pornographic” is too pleasant a word to describe what animates the Court’s decision and the Obama administration’s supporting brief in the Florence case, a creepy fetishism that might make Larry Flynt blanch.

The petitioner in the case, Albert Florence, says he was stripped, humiliated, unmanned, after police in New Jersey stopped his car for a traffic violation and arrested him in the mistaken belief that he had failed to pay a fine. There was an outstanding warrant, inexplicably, and Florence spent seven days in jail. He did not challenge the state’s right to strip-search some detainees, just not him and those like him, people arrested for minor offenses who give jailers no probable cause to suspect violence or weapons or contraband.

3 replies, 1396 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 3 replies Author Time Post
Reply The True Horror of the 'Florence' Decision {strip search} (Original post)
xchrom Apr 2012 OP
villager Apr 2012 #1
msongs Apr 2012 #3
Uncle Joe Apr 2012 #2

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 10:43 AM

1. "...and the Obama administration’s supporting brief"


plus ca "change..."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to villager (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 12:02 PM

3. obama uses drones to kill women and kids, what's a strip search to him? nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 11:37 AM

2. Sort of like the Blob.

"Like the four liberals on the Court who took his side, Florence does not fully apprehend just what it takes to be the world’s biggest jailer. Justice Kennedy did honesty a favor in this sense. His opinion makes plain the amoeba-like nature of the violence system just below the surface of everyday life—always moving, always grasping, capable of engulfing anyone, and absorbing so many persons as to suspend personhood, making distinctions moot. In the transit from freedom to handcuffs to lockup, the individual vanishes. What remains is a body, really a collection of parts, notable only for what they may conceal."

And from the Solicitor General's own brief prima facie evidence that the demand for ever greater erosion of the individual's own body integrity and continuous rape of the 4th Amendment which of course weakens everyone's rights, while increasing the hold of draconian state abuse, is primarily based on the insane, dysfunctional, counterproductive and corruptive "War on Drugs"

man arrested on drug charges found with golf-ball-sized bag of crack cocaine in his rectum… woman booked into jail on a warrant “filled two condoms with methadone, tied them, hid them inside her vagina, and used electrical tape to keep them from falling out”… man smuggled marijuana into jail in his rectum… man placed 20 bags of heroin in his rectum… man arrested for marijuana possession found with a small white bag containing cocaine and marijuana in his rectum… inmate hospitalized after trying to smuggle a knife into jail inside his body… “some inmates cut pockets inside their mouths” in order to smuggle razor blades… inmate hid red-and-silver “flip-style” cellular phone in his rectum… “and not only that, but with a charger”… man arrested on probation violation found with methadone, Oxycodone, and Xanax in a bag in his rectum… woman arrested for driving with a suspended license died shortly after her arrival at jail due to a drug overdose from pills she had concealed in a body cavity… crack pipe found in body cavity of man pulled over for failure to wear a seat belt… man booked into a county jail on misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge was found with a cigarette lighter, rolling papers, a golf-ball-sized bag of tobacco, a bottle of tattoo ink, eight tattoo needles, an inch-long smoking pipe, and a bag of marijuana all concealed in his rectum… man arrested for selling bootlegged CDs was found concealing a nine-millimeter handgun between rolls of fat.

First they came for the drug users but...etc. etc. etc.

And in case you missed it, here's something really entertaining to highlight the corruptive insanity behind our dysfunctional and draconian "drug war" policies.


STUNNING! Wells Fargo launders Mexican drug cartel money, then invests in for-profit prisons.

"Last year, Wells Fargo got hit with a slap on the wrist and a fine they could easily afford for laundering $378.4 Billion dollars of drug money for the Mexican drug cartels. If you're keeping score at home that means if you get busted smoking a joint you go to jail, but if you get busted laundering billions of dollars in drug cartel money you get a slap on the wrist. Now, here's the catch, if you get caught smoking pot and go to jail, Wells Fargo will make a profit off of that too thanks to America's growing for-profit prison system."

Simply put the so called "War on Drugs" combined with the belief that a for profit prison industry should be legal is a surefire recipe for a 21st century version of slavery so the American People need to wake up and shouldn't be surprised if they find themselves stripped naked and inspected for the most minor of and in some cases falsely manufactured offenses.

Thanks for the thread, xchrom.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread