Syracuse Cops Push St. Joe’s to Probe Man’s Rectum for Drugs

Douglass Dowty, writing for

Syracuse police, a city court judge and St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center worked together last year to conduct a highly unusual drug search.

They collaborated to sedate a suspect and thread an 8-inch flexible tube into his rectum in a search for illegal drugs. The suspect, who police said had taunted them that he’d hidden drugs there, refused consent for the procedure.

At least two doctors resisted the police request. An X-ray already had indicated no drugs. They saw no medical need to perform an invasive procedure on someone against his will. […]

The hospital’s top lawyer got pulled in. He talked by with the judge who signed the search warrant, which was written by police and signed at the judge’s home.

When they were done, the hospital lawyer overruled the doctors. The lawyer told his doctors that a search warrant required the doctors to use “any means” to retrieve the drugs, records show.

So St. Joe’s medical staff knocked out the suspect and performed the sigmoidoscopy, in search of evidence of a misdemeanor or low-level felony charge, records show.

Shit like this really pisses me off. But just when you thought that ignoring X-ray evidence and invading a man’s butt against his will was bad enough, the story gets even worse.

So, was it worth the risk? The X-ray was right. The scope found no drugs.

And when they were done, St. Joe’s sent the suspect a bill for $4,595.12.

So after being treated horribly at the hospital, the “suspect” (who was treated more like a victim) was asked to pick up the tab. Being told to pay more than $4.5k for having a surveillance tube shoved up your ass—against your will, no less—sounds like a raw deal to me.