Graphic by hotflashcarol, based on actual signs, for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of driving through Texas.
On the evening of July 13, 2012, 38-year-old Angel Dobbs and her niece, Ashley Dobbs, 24, were traveling in Angel’s boyfriend’s car on Highway 161 in Irving, TX, a suburb of Dallas. They were on their way to a casino in Oklahoma. They were pulled over by Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Trooper David Farrell, who said he saw each of them throw lighted cigarette butts out of the car windows. This is important; these women were pulled over for nothing more serious than—allegedly—littering. Littering in Texas is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 on first offense; a second offense may result in a fine of up to $2,000 and 180 days in jail. Or, if you’re unfortunate enough to be stopped by Trooper Farrell and his accomplice, Trooper Kelley Helleson, you might be subjected to public sexual assault by a couple of subhumans with an array of deadly weapons but apparently only one set of latex gloves. And then you might end up on YouTube.
This video made me sick. Literally—shaky, knot-in-your-stomach, cortisol-overdose sick. The worst part was watching these two innocent women, one of them only 24 years old, having to passively succumb to what amounts to vaginal and anal rape because the perpetrators had not just guns but badges. In the federal lawsuit that Angel and Ashley Dobbs have recently filed, Angel says she was was “overwhelmed with emotion and a feeling of helplessness and reacted stating that Helleson had just violated her in a most horrific manner.” Those of us who have been sexually abused or assaulted, especially by authority figures, know that such violations can have a lifelong impact that will not be mitigated by settlement dollars or prison sentences. The damage has already been done; these women have already been found guilty of littering and having a boyfriend who might have smoked pot in his car, and they have been punished accordingly. I bet they never do that again. (How fucking pernicious is the “I smelled pot” excuse; it apparently gives the police state carte blanche to escalate the situation to whatever level matches their testosterone that day.)