Minnesota high court rules against forced body cavity search
Published 8:00 am Thursday, August 15, 2019
ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Supreme Court has overturned a man’s drug conviction after concluding that a forced body cavity search violated his constitutional rights to dignity, personal privacy and bodily integrity.
The court ruled Wednesday the search of Guntallwon Brown’s rectum while he was strapped down and sedated violated his Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. While the court ordered a retrial, the 2.9 grams of cocaine found in a plastic bag in the Minneapolis man’s body can’t be used as evidence.
The Star Tribune reports the high court, in overruling two lower courts, relied on a 1985 U.S. Supreme Court decision governing invasive body searches.
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In a dissent, Justice Anne McKeig called the search reasonable, saying Brown was offered less invasive options when he was taken to the hospital.