Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Charnesia Corley and an Assault on the Fourth Amendment

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Charnesia Corley and an Assault on the Fourth Amendment

Article excerpt

Here is a challenge for you. Reconcile the following:

In 1791, the Bill of Rights was ratified, including the Fourth Amendment, guaranteeing "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures." In 2015, a 21-year-old woman named Charnesia Corley says she underwent a public body-cavity search for drugs at a gas station in Texas.

Explain, if you can, how the former and the latter can be simultaneously true.

According to Corley, a sheriff's deputy in Harris County - Houston is the county seat - pulled her over for a traffic violation in June. Claiming he smelled marijuana, he searched the car, then called a female deputy to search Corley. She says the woman told her to pull her pants down. Corley, who was handcuffed, says she told the deputy she couldn't and protested that she was wearing no panties. Whereupon, according to Corley, the deputy pulled the pants down herself and began her search.

Corley told CNN she "popped up when she felt the woman's fingers inside her and protested. Corley says the deputy replied: "I can do what I want to do, because this is a narcotics search. Another female deputy was summoned. Corley found herself on the ground with, she says, both women on top of her. And if you were looking for the textbook definition of an "unreasonable search, surely you could not find a better one than a bare-bottomed woman held down on the pavement in full public view while her vagina is forcibly probed for drugs.

The Harris County Sheriff has declined comment, citing an "ongoing internal affairs investigation - and a possible civil suit. According to at least some reports, deputies did find marijuana - 0.02 ounces - though it is unclear where. The Associated Press reports that charges against Corley - drug possession and resisting arrest - were dropped last week. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.