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Puyallup, Wash., police sued over videotaping suspects as they undress

Aug. 23, 2013 at 5:29 PM   |   Comments

PUYALLUP, Wash., Aug. 23 (UPI) -- A lawsuit filed in Puyallup, Wash., alleges 12 plaintiffs arrested by police were videotaped undressing and using a toilet at the jail, their lawyers said.

Attorney James Egan alleges in a suit filed Thursday in Pierce County Superior Court that his clients, 11 women and one man, were videotaped by the Puyallup Police Department after their arrests for driving under the influence.

The recording violates their "fundamental rights to bodily privacy, dignity and unlawful searches and seizures," the lawsuit states.

Police and city officials deny wrongdoing, saying suspects are given clothes to wear before having mug shots taken, and their actions, including undressing and dressing, are recorded for the safety of everyone at the jail.

"People are very creative in where they hide things. We have to expect the worst," said the city's attorney, Kevin Yamamoto.

One plaintiff, a woman identified as S.C., alleges officers made inappropriate comments, complimenting her looks and figure.

"What they were doing is perverted. This is like a porn movie they were watching. I feel extremely violated," S.C. is quoted in the suit.

Capt. Ryan Portmann of the Puyallup Police Department told CNN video jail monitoring is widespread, legitimate and common in many correctional institutions.

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