21 November 2006



Alexis Bronson, arrested Aug. 5, 2002, for alleged public intoxication, intent to terrorize and battery, said in a lawsuit he filed on his own behalf that he was strip-searched with a uniformed female present. Then, he said, he was "paraded completely naked into the main reception area, in full view of male and female officers, civilian employees, other inmates ... then slammed to the floor face first by force in a 'cold room' with no water, toilet, clothes or bedding ...''
Bronson, 43, a Web designer and computer consultant for small businesses, said in his suit that he was kept in the cell for approximately 12 hours. The district attorney declined to file charges, he said, and he has also filed grievances with the Office of Citizen Complaints and the sheriff's internal investigations unit.


George Lazaneo and his fiancee had spent the afternoon of March 16 at the movies. Three blocks from their San Francisco home, a driver ran a stop sign and bumped their car.
Fearing the driver would flee, Lazaneo, 38, asked his fiancee to call police. Minutes after their arrival, officers took Lazaneo -- to his astonishment -- into custody.
He later learned why: an old warrant. From 1995 to 1997, Lazaneo managed the Trocadero Transfer, a South of Market nightclub that received numerous noise ordinance citations. When the nightclub closed in 1998, Lazaneo said, he was assured the citations had been dismissed or resolved. Lazaneo was unaware that a no-bail warrant had been issued for him for a noise citation, he said.
At the county jail, Lazaneo underwent a strip search.
"It was just like in the movies," he said. "Take off every stitch of clothing, run your fingers through your hair, open your mouth, do a 360-degree turn, lift the back of your feet, bend over, spread your cheeks, turn back, face the deputy, pull up your scrotum. Then you are issued the jumpsuit."
But minutes after the search, Lazaneo said, he was told to disrobe again so a female jail employee could photograph his tattoos, he alleges in a lawsuit filed last month.
"I covered myself with my hands which they didn't have a problem with," he said. "There are pictures of me naked that I've never seen and I have no idea where they are.''
Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Eileen Hirst said photographing is done for "investigative or classification purposes such as documenting gang tattoos.
... Only the relevant portion of the unclothed body is photographed.''
In Lazaneo's case, none of his tattoos -- one on each arm, one on his neck, one on his lower leg -- is gang-related, said his attorney, Kirk Boyd.
"If they were only photographing his arms and legs, they didn't need to strip him naked and stand him there where they could see his groin,'' Boyd said.
Lazaneo spent the night and most of the following day in custody before his case was discharged.
"It was a nightmare that kept getting worse and worse,'' he said. "I wasn't Mirandized, I wasn't able to make a phone call, I didn't know why I was being held. ... They kept asking about a criminal background that didn't exist.
The feeling I got was that they thought I was a criminal. I tried to be dignified. I didn't raise my voice, I didn't beg."
When he was released late March 17, the first thing he did was buy cigarettes -- he'd quit smoking six months earlier.
"I couldn't believe it happened, it was medieval," said Lazaneo, who now works as a warehouse manager for a wine distributor. "I could have lost my job if I hadn't been able to document this ridiculous story. It was the worst, most degrading experience of my life. For 30 hours, I knew what it was like to feel powerless."


A 22-year-old man, originally from Leupung Sub-district in Aceh Besar District, was arrested on 8 June 2003 and taken to Aceh Besar Police Resort (Polres). There, over the course of four days he was reported to have been beaten with a rifle butt, a rattan stick and leather shoes, kicked, trampled on by some 30 people and burnt with a cigarette. He was allegedly ordered to eat an instant noodle box and swallow a metal bolt nut. He was transferred to Lambaro police station, Aceh Besar. There he was reported to have been kicked, had the muzzle of a SS1 assault rifle placed in his mouth and he was trampled on. On one occasion he was reportedly forced to strip naked and to stand on his head and on another to perform oral sex on a fellow detainee. His hands were crushed using the metal bar used to secure the cell door and his eyes poked with fingers. He was forced to drink alcohol and smoke marijuana. In Keudah Prison in Banda Aceh, to where he was later transferred, he was ordered to run barefoot on hot tarmac with the result that the soles of his feet were burnt. He is since believed to have been put on trial, although the outcome is not known.

FORCE TO STRIP NAKED in public view

In Jamaica, four men were arrested in 1996 for "gross indecency." The men, two of whom were partially clothed, were forced to strip and stand naked in public view until the following day. A mob gathered and threatened the men, who were then taken into custody, raped, and forced to clean other inmates' toilets with their bare hands. After inciting other inmates to attack the men, the police gave the inmates access to the men's unlocked cells. In Jamaica, consensual sex between men is crime punishable by up to ten years in prison with hard labor.

Army Major and Colonel, Stripped beaten and executed

On July 29, 1966, while Major General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi was staying at Government House in Ibadan, northern troops led by Major Theophilus Danjuma and Captain Martin Adamu stormed the building, seized Ironsi and his host, Lieutenant Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi, and subsequently had the two men stripped naked, flogged and beaten, and finally machine-gunned to death. Other northern troops, led by Lieutenant Colonel Murtala Mohammed, the real leader of the counter-coup,

Volunteers stripped naked in front of other volunteers

In November three volunteers at a military camp were seized by the security forces there, stripped naked in front of the hundreds of other volunteers, and had acid poured on their genitals. The forces responsible then shaved the initials, "GMI" (the title of the security forces) onto their heads. The affair was referred to the Police Commissariat in the city of Thiaroye where it occurred.

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