|Erlanger, Ky. police pull over minivan with obstructed plates, arrest mom for driving on a suspended license, detain rest of the family for an hour while the drug doggie comes. (New entry for the "things that police think are indicative of drug activity" file: having wrenches, screwdrivers, and other work tools in one's minivan.) No drugs found. Sixth Circuit: No qualified immunity for an officer who allegedly, after the drug doggie sniff had been completely, searched 17-year-old daughter's bra before letting her go to the bathroom.|
On May 22, 2014, Harris, along with her mother, father and older sister, went out for dinner at TGI Friday’s. On the way home, their minivan was stopped by City of Erlanger police officers because of an obstructed license plate. The officers then conducted an investigation of Harris’s mother, who was the driver. Her mother was arrested for obstructing a license plate, driving with no registration plates, driving with a suspended license, and possession of a forged instrument.
...1 During the investigation, officers also noticed that
Harris’s father had “equipment for his work” in the vehicle, including “tools, like screwdrivers and wrenches,” some of which were “sitting out” and some of which were “in containers.” Based on the presence of these tools in conjunction with the violations listed above, the officers began to suspect that Harris’s mother was engaged in drug activity. They sent for a drug dog, but it found no drugs.
The wait for the drug dog to arrive took about an hour, and Harris needed to use the restroom. In order to escort Harris to the restroom, the police summoned a female officer, Kimberly Klare. Before Klare escorted Harris to the restroom, the officers ask
ed Harris’s father if Klare had his permission to do so, and he consented. While waiting near the minivan, Harris observed Klare “put her hand on her gun...three, four times.” Harris and Klare did not leave until after Harris’s mother had been arrested and, according to Harris, after the dog’s sniffing — and indication that no drugs were in the minivan —was completed.
2 En route to the restroom, Klare told Harris that she “may have to search” her. Klare then
asked Harris, “would you step over here,” to which Harris answered “yes” and walked to the
requested location. By this time, the snap securing Klare’s gun was unfastened, and she placed
her hand on the gun five times while talking to Harris. The parties agree that at this point, Klare secured Harris’s hands behind her back. What happened next is disputed, but, as noted, for purposes of this summary judgment appeal, we must accept Harris’s version of events. She claims that, as part of a pat down, Klare placed her hands under Harris’s brassiere and pinched the girl’s breasts, causing bruising. According to Harris, Klare told her that she searched her the way she did because a previous suspect at that location had “stuffed needles in her bra” and because “[y]ou have that look,” “[y]ou have the look of a junkie whore.” But Klare found no drugs, drug paraphernalia, weapon, or other contraband on Harris...