Bra shaking controversy: Lakeland police search method of woman questioned
Chip Osowski, WFLA, NBC NewsChannel
7:36 AM, Jun 21, 2013
10:45 PM, Jun 21, 2013
What happened to Zoe Brugger during a traffic stop earlier this month was humiliating to say the least. "Made me go through the whole humiliating ordeal with shaking my bra out right there in the middle of this parking lot on Beacon Road," Brugger said.
Dashcam video shows the officer making Zoe shake out her bra to make sure she wasn't hiding any drugs. But she says he didn't stop there -- indicating if she was hiding anything internally -- he would find it.
"Then he told me that he was taking me to Bartow jail for driving on a suspended license and that they had an x-ray machine there and they were definitely going to find what I had hidden inside me there," said Brugger.
Brugger filed a complaint and notified the state attorney's office.
State Attorney Jerry Hill fired back a letter to the Lakeland Police Department informing the chief things there need to change.
"First of all its just plain inappropriate, let's get that out of the way. It's just wrong. It's not a sanctioned procedure that is taught anywhere as far as we can determine," Hill said.
Lakeland Police Captain John Thomason said, "Chief Womack takes these matters very seriously and the department will conduct a thorough investigation into the allegations."
Zoe wonders how many other women have faced this sort of treatment -- and when will it end? "From hearing stories from friends and stuff, it's pretty common that women are subjected to this type of treatment by male officers."
The officer in question took four days off with pay while the State Attorney's office conducted its investigation.
He is back on duty now.
The captain of the Lakeland Police Department, says that he cannot comment on an active, ongoing, internal investigation.