A South Florida woman says she suffered through a degrading inspection of her genitals after the latest of a history of traffic stops by Coral Springs Police that she believes are racially motivated.
Cathy Boston-Moss has filed an official complaint against two officers, and said there was no real reason for police to stop her and then harm and humiliate her.
Coral Springs Police said an internal affairs investigation is underway, but said they cannot comment on the incident because of that investigation.
Boston-Moss, who lives in Coral Springs, was behind the wheel of her sister’s gray Honda when police pulled her over in the last week of September. The police report said she was stopped because her window tint was too dark.
“Coral Springs Police Department snatched me out of the vehicle, they twist my wrist, they started shoving it behind my back,” she said.
Moss has been in a sling since the day she was stopped several weeks ago. Medical records show she suffered bruises on her arm, wrist and fingers and was billed almost $1,700 for treatment.
She was charged with resisting arrest without violence – and said she believes the officers racially profiled her.
“Because I was a black girl riding with big rims. That's the only reason I can say I was stopped,” Boston-Moss said. “All of them, I can say they’re not black. Every one of them was either Hispanic or white.”
Moss showed NBC 6 South Florida a list of tickets she's gotten from Coral Springs officers this year. All were written when she was behind the wheel of her vehicle, a black 2006 Infiniti SUV.
Police acknowledge they've stopped her 10 times, including pulling her over in June for having illegal tint. In May she was cited for not carrying or displaying her driver’s license, and in 2011 she was cited for an equipment violation and expired registration.
Boston-Moss said she has even been cited for not having enough tread on her tires.
The latest stop came when she was driving her sister’s car.
“Very unfairly treated because when they stopped me they were actually on the side of me,” she recalled. “The windows were down, and I was at the red light eating my breakfast. I had on my seat belt.”
But police offer another version, saying they asked her three times for her driver’s license.
The police report said Boston-Moss "...began screaming and asking for the probable cause for this stop."
She also demanded to speak with a supervisor. And an officer grabbed her wrist and attempted to pull her out of the car because he feared she might be reaching for a weapon, the report said.
The police report indicated that the officers thought that Boston-Moss might have been having some type of anxiety attack during the stop. She told NBC 6 South Florida that she does have medication for that and told the officers where it was, but they would not bring it to her.
The officers then brought Boston-Moss to the emergency room of the Broward Health facility in Coral Springs. After seeing the doctors, she says the female officer came into the room and subjected her to an inspection of her genital area.
“And she said to me, ‘Oh, Miss Moss, I forgot to search you, can you please turn around and spread your legs?’” Boston-Moss said. “And she searched my private areas repeatedly. And I felt very disgusted.”
Her attorney, David Fuchs, condemned what allegedly happened.
“There was no reason to conduct a body cavity search under those circumstances, with no one else present but my client and the officer,” Fuchs said. “And this is nothing more than a sexual assault and battery by the city of Coral Springs Police Department.”
While police could not comment on the specifics of the case, they noted that one of the officers was previously given high marks and recognized for his outstanding service in a drug case.
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