Strip searches may be called off for some misdemeanors and traffic violations in Maryland, as lawmakers are considering a ban with new legislation proposed by a Baltimore County politician.
Sen. James Brochin (D-Baltimore County) said he is backing the measure after last year's media reports that a 29-year-old nurse said she was strip-searched after being pulled over for traffic violations.
Brochin said there are "serious constitutional issues" with unnecessary strip searches. He also worries some authorities may choose to strip search people to "humiliate or demean them."
According to the bill, a medical professional would perform the search under sanitary conditions. Aside from the medical professional, the officer would have to be the same sex as the person being searched. Searches would not happen where other individuals could watch, and the number of people doing the search would be limited to only those necessary to conducting the search.
The bill also provides exceptions if officers have reasonable, fact-based suspicion that their suspect might be concealing drugs or weapons.