No Police Immunity for Claims of Urine Torture (Courthouse News Service)
Sunday January 8th, 2012
(CN) - Pennsylvania state police officers do not have immunity from claims that they tortured a woman with pepper spray, cold water and urine while she was in custody and restraints, a federal judge ruled.
State troopers took Derena Madison into custody after a 2:30 a.m. traffic stop in which they arrested her friend for driving under the influence. When officers said they would tow the car, Madison exited to protest. Police arrested her for public drunkenness and disorderly conduct, putting her into handcuffs and restraining her feet with manacles.
While she was restrained and shackled, she claims that Officer Chad Weaver "twice sprayed [her] face, head and body with pepper spray, without justification... for the purpose of torturing her."
In response to her calls for help, she says several officers carried her outside the barracks and doused her with large quantities of cold water, after which she blacked out momentarily and fell to her knees in the snow. "When she regained consciousness," Madison allegedly "felt and smelled urine on her head, face, neck and person. She believes that while she was unconscious, one or more of the defendants urinated on her."