Punish Prison Guard Accused of Macing Woman’s Genitals


Target: Peter Simonson, Executive Director of American Civil Liberties Union

Goal: Support efforts to keep law enforcement officials from physically violating and harming prisoners.

The drug war in America is a longstanding problem that has caused law enforcement across the country to crack down on criminals who illegally traffic drugs across borders. However, in an effort to keep citizens safe, we forget that these individuals have rights too. And in New Mexico, an outbreak of physical violations against prisoners has reached an all-time high.

Reports have revealed that detention centers are engaging in forced anal probes, enemas and colonoscopies, but the most extreme story is that of a female inmate named Marlene Tapia. Tapia suffered for weeks from burning, swelling and painful urination, after a corrections officer strip-searched her and sprayed mace directly onto her genitals, twice. The corrections officer alleged that a plastic bag was protruding from Tapia’s vagina when she engaged in a routine strip-search for a probation violation. Instead of sending Tapia to a doctor to have it removed, the officers forcibly removed the bag and sprayed Tapia with the chemical agent.

Peter Simonson, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, called the crime ‘…[a] tantamount to torture…’ While civil rights cases are very complicated to build, Marlene Tapia’s story is particularly hard to ignore. Law enforcement in New Mexico are known for their brutal and invasive attacks against inmates, convicts and citizens. Recently, a man named David Eckert was pulled over for making a rolling stop at a stop sign, and ‘appeared nervous’ and ‘too alert,’ prompting officers to subject him to an x-ray, digital anal penetration scan, enema and colonoscopy for drugs. They suspected that he’d been taking drugs, or was hiding them, but failed to find any.

All of these actions, performed without the consent of those suspected or convicted, are in direct violation of basic Constitutional rights. In Tapia’s case, they are a violation of jail policy as well. Simonson, who has taken it upon himself to represent Marlene, isn’t seeking compensation. Instead he’s fighting to make sure that ‘…our country’s Constitutional freedoms and protections apply to everybody — including the people accused of a crime.’

By signing this petition you’ll urge the law enforcement of New Mexico to stop these demoralizing acts against citizens and prisoners and support Simonson’s efforts to protect the rights of the convicted.


Dear Peter Simonson,

I am writing you today to thank you for your valorous efforts to represent Marlene Tapia’s case as an example of a breach in basic Constitutional rights and inhumanity. These demoralizing and violating procedures need to be highlighted, as law enforcement in New Mexico abuse their power and have resorted to extreme measures to keep citizens safe from illegal drugs.

We forget that convicted individuals, inmates and those with a criminal record are still human beings, no matter what the criminalizing act. If they make an effort to be compliant, regardless of their charge, then law enforcement should make an effort to observe their rights.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: kathycsus

Sign the Petition

  • Only your name will be displayed. By signing, you accept our terms and may receive updates on this and related causes.
FacebookCare2 NewsTwitterEmailShare


  1. Amy Rose Murphy says:

    These are not law enforcement people but low life brainless goons,
    They should be tossed in jail
    and have a x-ray, digital anal penetration scan done to them every day see how they like it

  2. Criminals, particularly drug smugglers and dealers, deserve NO civil or human rights and should be treated in any way that the law enforcement agencies choose. The worse and more brutal that treatment is, the better.

    • Geez, Sid “Vicious”, they’re already violating people’s rights everywhere! Whether they’re guilty or not! Better wake-up, one day these out of control cops might arrest you! Our civil rights should never be violated!

    • What a badge-bunny! And a sorry excuse for an American. Coward cops and their coward friends will bring us down faster than any terrorist.

  3. KatWrangler says:

    Repeat: the person who did this needs a mace enema.

  4. This is totally disgraceful. There is a right and a wrong way of searching someone and this is clearly the wrong way. It is revolting to say the least. Shame on all those responsible. Education and sensitivity training is needed in this instance.

  5. Frances Pawley says:


  6. Is this behavior exempt from legal consequences just because he was doing it inside a prison?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Facebook Comments


3856 Signatures

  • Alice Rim
  • Muhammad Kamal
  • sheila childs
  • Hermann Kastner
  • James Thrailkill
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • Mal Gaff
  • Holly Hall
  • Nancy Petersen
  • Melanie waleski
1 of 386123...386
Skip to toolbar