‘THIS IS RAPE!’ girl screams whereas allegedly forcibly catheterized in entrance of male cop


Ashland police officer Justin McCreadie stopped 62-year-old Behringer on Oct. 19, 2019, on suspicion of driving impaired, Behringer’s attorneys allege in the lawsuit. Her handicapped parking decal and oxygen regulator were visible in her vehicle at the time of the stop, the suit claims. Still, McCreadie took Behringer to the police station and demanded she submit to a breathalyzer test, which her attorneys said she tried to complete, but ultimately explained that she couldn’t due to her health conditions. McCreadie, in turn, obtained a warrant for blood and urine samples, and took Behringer to Providence Medford Medical Center, which is also named in the lawsuit.

Attorneys said in the suit that when Behringer voiced her opposition to providing a urine sample in front of a male officer, medical staff members, who were not identified in the document, asked her: “Do you know what they do to you if you don’t urinate?”

Behringer was then stripped in front of McCreadie, with hospital staff making no attempt to protect her privacy, attorneys said in the suit. They also said McCreadie’s warrant did not include forced catheterization, which according to the lawsuit, the hospital admitted it is “often asked to do.” Attorneys cited a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in 2017 that law enforcement’s “forceful use of a catheter is a ‘gross personal indignity’ far exceeding that involved in a simple blood test.”

“More than two years after the Ninth Circuit’s decision, the Defendants, in the course of collecting evidence in support of a misdemeanor driving under the influence charge—in addition to taking two blood samples—stripped her from the waist down, opened her legs, exposed her genitals, and forced a catheter into Liese Behringer,” attorneys wrote in the suit. “The Defendants did nothing to mitigate the pain of this procedure. The Defendants proceeded with this procedure, despite Ms. Behringer’s willingness to submit a urine sample, just not in the presence of a male police officer.”

Behringer is seeking compensation, punitive damages, and injunctive relief ordering the Ashland Police Department and Providence Health Care to “immediately cease this practice.”

In the suit, Behringer’s attorneys said that when their client called the hospital to complain about the “dehumanizing treatment she received,” Patient Care Liaison Pamela Morris responded in writing on Feb. 20, 2020. She wrote, according to the lawsuit:

“After receiving your call, our team, along with hospital leadership, began a review of your care to include your medical record, and care protocols for patients with your presentation. Our review found the care appropriate as assisting law enforcement with evidence collection is something we are often asked to do. If we can avoid taking part with this, we do. We will do a general standby in the area as a precaution but we do not inject ourselves unless it is necessary to protect the safety of our staff members. In tis instance there was one police officer and one staff member, so the chance of injury increases. There is no written policy or protocol that specifically outlines what should be done in this process and when as our officers are asked to use a common sense approach to these situations.

It is the expectation that our officers respect a patient’s right to privacy. The process is unpleasant enough and we should make every effort to reduce the negative impact it can have on them. One of the ways we do this is turning our backs to the patient during the process if it is safe to do so. As it turns out this is not always the case. From all indications and information available to us, the officer’s look into your eyes was incidental and had nothing to do with any mal intent. It is believed that the Ashland police officer provided you multiple opportunities to comply with his orders. The officer advised you of the possible use of physical force to allow staff to complete the procedure. You opted to comply, while the procedure was completed and the officer and security [sic] stood on the right hand side of the room with their backs turned to you to respect your privacy.”

Although Behringer’s attorneys told The Oregonian they believe their’s is one of the first legal challenges in Oregon to forced catheterization; similar lawsuits have been filed in Idaho, Indiana, New Jersey, South Dakota, and Utah. A federal judge approved $440,000 in settlements last year for plaintiffs who suffered forced catheterizations in South Dakota, the Associated Press reported.

“Defendants’ need to obtain the plaintiffs’ urine to prove a low-level drug crime did not justify subjecting the plaintiffs to involuntary catheterization, a highly invasive—and in these cases—degrading medical procedure,” Chief Judge Roberto Lange, of the U.S. Federal Court for the District of South Dakota, wrote in a 106-page opinion obtained by the AP.

The ACLU of South Dakota and attorney Jim Leach, which launched the South Dakota suit, said the plaintiffs in their case were “held down and subjected to involuntary catheterization after police obtained search warrants for urine samples to detect the presence of drugs,” a violation of the Fourth Amendment. 

“The Fourth Amendment guarantees people the right to be free from unreasonable police searches,” Leach said. “There is nothing reasonable about forcibly catheterizing someone. The Constitution’s purpose is to protect people from police intrusions exactly like this. Now the practice of police using forced catheterization to gather evidence will stop.”

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