Usually when we hear about allegations involving cavity searches and people feeling violated from law enforcement searches, the officer who performed the search was a male. When we hear about any kind of physical violation involving a woman, the aggressor is almost always a male. That’s not the case in this instance, and it was all caught on tape from her cruiser’s camera.
The Dallas County Grand Jury is expected to indict Trooper Kelly Helleson in the next couple of weeks. She had been on suspended leave since the investigation of the July 2012 stop began. The DPS Director, Steve McGraw, has decided to relieve her of her duties as a Texas Trooper permanently. Helleson better hire a good criminal defense attorney!
The alleged victims in this case, a Dallas woman and her niece, were pulled over near for a routine traffic violation. The other Trooper on the scene, David Ferrell, asked Helleson to search the two women because they were acting suspicious. What happened next, according to the two women, was a complete violation of their privacy and persons. Trooper Helleson allegedly violated both cavities in their pelvic regions violently and without cause.
The body cavity searches of both women yielded no drugs, weapons, or contraband of any kind. The driver was given a ticket and they were sent on their way.
Can you imagine how you would feel if this happened to you? If you were pulled over for speeding and an officer performed a full body cavity search on you and your family members, wouldn’t you be appalled?
Law enforcement officers are allowed to exercise certain powers and perform searches to protect the safety of others if someone is acting suspiciously. However, in what part of this gray area does it become okay to strip search someone on the side of the road?
The two women who were searched filed civil suits in January against both officers who stopped them, and also the director of The Texas Department of Safety.
It will be interesting to see if criminal charges are filed against Helleson and if so how severe they are. The alleged victims in this case are calling it rape. I guess we will have to wait and see. One thing’s for sure though; she can’t talk her way out of video footage.