Contrary to popular assumption, male NY police officers are allowed to frisk women.
Women interviewed for the article recall humiliation as officers uncovered birth control pills, tampons, and underwear from their purses; as well as confusion and intimidation as male officers patted them down without probable cause.
“Ashanti Galloway, 24, a security guard and day care worker, said she recoiled when an officer recently fumbled through her bag and pulled out a pair of pink Victoria’s Secret underwear and her bra.
‘He had my clothes in his hand; it was my panties and my bra,’ Ms. Galloway said. ‘I was upset. I felt violated. Powerless.’
Ms. Galloway, who provided her full name and address but asked The Times to use Ashanti, her middle name, for this article, said she was not frisked on that occasion, though once, last summer, a male officer patted her down.
‘A male officer should not have a right to touch me in any sort of manner, even if it’s on the outside of my clothing,” Ms. Galloway said. “We’re girls. They are men. And they are cops. It feels like a way for them to exert power over you.'”
Last year, the NYPD stopped 46,784 women, frisking 16,000 of them. Only 59 guns were found.
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