Transcript for Have These Cops Gone Too Far?
we turn to the tapes the police can't erase, the pat downs, searches and the women who say those investigators were searching for far more than evidence. See the video yourself. You decide. Peep show? Or police pro? Once again, debra roberts. Reporter: No matter where you go these days, chances are you're being watched. But cameras are recording the men in blue, too. And if they step out of line, the video is there to tell the tale. And there is plenty of video to watch at the jail in puyallup, washington. These videos are essential. When you step into a correction institution your privacy is diminished. Reporter: That's putting it mildly. They described the ordeal but are too embarrassed to show their faces. It was an awful experience. And humiliating. Embarrassing. The anger of knowing that somebody has these videos. And it's happening to all these other women. Reporter: It's a controversy that erupted when defense attorney james egan, researching public records for a dui client, stumbled upon these videos. I've represented a 1,000 people in dui's and I've never seen this. Reporter: Turns out cops in puyallup have been videotaping and watching young women, most of them detained for dui -- as they change clothes and use the toilet. This practice appears to be a peep show. Reporter: The jail does have curtained areas for changing clothes in private but these women were all were sent to a holding cell with a camera overhead and told to strip. Felt like a doll they were just dressing up and dressing down. I was on display for them. Reporter: They were made to change into jail clothes to have their mug shots taken, then allowed to get dressed in their own clothes before being released. We have you change into jail clothing because it's common for offenders to hide things. This is protocol. Because you're the only ones that are doing it. Reporter: So egan has now filed lawsuits behalf of dozens of women convinced the cops were way out of line. I'm extremely angry. They're there to serve and protect-- and protect us. And they completely took advantage of each and eve one of us. Reporter: If you're expecting an apology from the police, forget it. The department insists its video monitoring is legal and appropriate. We don't believe there is any merit to the allegations our officers did anything wrong. We do not have them monitoring the cameras when that activity is going on. In fact all of these cases there are no officers viewing the video or the monitors at any time through any of the allegations. Reporter: But the women aren't buying it. Yeah, it was really cold in there and I -- asked for a blanket. And he told me to -- if I do jumping jacks he'll be watching. "Don't do jumping jacks naked 'cause I'll be watching." Reporter: The washington case isn't the only instance where cameras have landed police in hot water. Take the case of the problematic pat down in texas last year. A state trooper pulls over a 38-year-old woman and her 24-year-old niece for littering, claiming they were "acting weird." When a female trooper arrives, the weirdness kicks into overdrive. Suspecting of hiding drugs, the women say they were forced to submit to a body cavity search -- on camera, in full view of passing cars! The horrified victims say the officer didn't change latex gloves between searches. That's gross. That is gross. Reporter: Bobby ramos spent 20 years as a cop in the nypd. Is there ever a reason to do this kind of a search out by the roadside? No, absolutely not. And the idea that she's doing this in front of her dash cam is outrageous. Reporter: The female officer was fired. Her male counterpart, suspended. If you think that's bad consider the case of the strange strip search, dana holmes was speeding home when cops pulled her over. She fails a breathalyzer test and is carted off to jail. You're going to arrest me? I am going to arrest you. Are you serious? Reporter: Her evening going from bad to worse. She is booked into the jail, holmes is told to stand up, spread her arms and legs as she faces the wall. During the search a female deputy lifts holmes left foot. I had no problem with the female guard patting me down. Reporter: Attempts to do the same with the right. I was cooperating. She told me to lift, I did. Reporter: In the incident report they allege holmes tried kick them. The deputies pounce immediately. One minute she is patting me down. Next minute I was forcefully thrown to the ground. I was picked up by all four officers and carried to another cell where they forcefully took off all my clothes completely naked, where I was left on the floor of the jail cell and it was very terrifying for me. Reporter: Would you need four people to do that search? It depends on how that person is acting. If the person is compliant, there's no reason to have all these officers gawking because that's basically what they are doing. Reporter: Illinois law says a strip search is permitted only when officers believe a person may be hiding a weapon or drugs. The law also says any strip-search must be done by an officer of the same sex in private. This is as bad as it gets. These four individuals were either stupid arrogant, untrained or some combination of all of those things, to have done this. Lasalle county officials maintain the jail guards did nothing wrong, don't tell that to dana holmes. I did inform them that I was going to see them in court. And they laughed in my face and just very arrogantly said, "well, make sure you get my last name right and you better have a damn good attorney." Reporter: Dana says she has that attorney and more importantly, she has that video. ♪
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