Disturbing new dashboard camera footage shows white South Carolina police officers performing a roadside cavity search on an African-American man during a traffic search.
Elijah Pontoon and his girlfriend, Lakeye Hicks, were pulled over while driving near Aiken, South Carolina in a recently purchased vehicle with temporary tags in October 2014, according to the Washington Post.
The Washington Post also has the dashboard camera footage in its entirety.
Officer Chris Medlin of the Aiken Department of Public Safety tells Hicks he pulled her over due to the paper tags on her vehicle.
There is no law against temporary tags in South Carolina, as long as the tags have not expired.
Officer Medlin requests both Hicks’ and Pontoon’s ID cards, despite the fact Pontoon is only a passenger. Pontoon was not required to provide the officer with his ID card.
Medlin instructs Pontoon out of the vehicle and handcuffs him. Pontoon has a prior criminal history that including drug charges. Since 2006, Pontoon had one arrest for failure to comply, according to the Washington Post.
Medlin runs their ID cards and finds there is no issue with the vehicle’s tags. Hicks is also instructed out of the vehicle.
Pontoon asks Medlin what’s going on, he is ignored before the officer said he will ‘explain in a minute.’
Medlin informs Pontoon, “Because of your history, I’ve got a dog coming in here. Gonna walk a dog around the car.”
Around 30 seconds later, Medlin said, “You gonna pay for this one, boy.”
A K9 officer and another officer arrive on the scene moments later. The four officers search the vehicle for 15 minutes.
The officers find no contraband in the vehicle.
Medlin asks the female officer to “search her real good,” referring to Hicks. A search conducted by a female officer returned no contraband and was performed off-camera, according to court records.
The officers then search Pontoon.
The cavity search is conducted off camera. According to audio from the dashboard camera footage, Pontoon at one point said one of the officers is grabbing his hemorrhoids. Medlin said, “I’ve had hemorrhoids, and they ain’t that hard.”
The officers searched Pontoon’s rectum for nearly three minutes. They found no contraband.
Medlin concluded the stop by giving Hicks a courtesy warning, but there is no description of what the warning was for, according to court records.
Pontoon’s lawyer Robert Phillips filed a federal lawsuit in September 2015 against the City of Aiken for what they say was an illegal and invasive search.