Dr. Sara Jumping Eagle, a pediatrician at the reservation hospital in Fort Yates has also come forward with video testimony, as has Cody Hall. Readers can watch his testimony below, and learn how even after his release, officers dressed in full riot gear harassed him and his mother as they left the courthouse.
Is this legal?
Legality is in the eye of the beholder and requires a moral compass.
In April 2011 the Supreme Court delivered a split 5-4 decision in Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Burlington, New Jersey. The Court was asked to consider if the Fourth Amendment permits jail officers to conduct a "suspicion-less strip search whenever an individual is arrested, including for minor offenses."
Justice Anthony Kennedy, while writing the majority decision said, "Courts must defer to the judgment of correctional officials unless the record contains substantial evidence showing their policies are an unnecessary or unjustified response to problems of jail security."
In his dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer noted that, "a search of an individual arrested for a minor offense that does not involve drugs or violence--say a traffic offense, a regulatory offense, an essentially civil matter, or any other such misdemeanor--is an "unreasonable searc[h]" forbidden by the Fourth Amendment, unless prison authorities have reasonable suspicion to believe that the individual possesses drugs or other contraband."
The eye of the beholder rests in a Supreme Court majority decision.
What, exactly, does the "judgment of correctional officials" require in terms of human decency? What if, as in the case of Morton County, law enforcement has shown a consistent overreach in terms of its treatment of the Native American population?
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