Ferndale police face legal action after reported body cavity search

Judge: Officer went too far in traffic stop with alleged body cavity search

FERNDALE, Mich. – The Ferndale Police Department has been targeted in a lawsuit after a traffic stop reportedly led to a body cavity search.

Police body camera footage is the cornerstone of the case. Police engaged in a traffic stop with a rental car at the Meijer on Eight Mile Road. The lawsuit alleges the driver of the vehicle didn't have a driver's license, but police paid more attention to the passenger, Marteze Haliburton, who had rented the vehicle. 

Police said they had seen Haliburton moving suspiciously and frisked him. Police shined a flashlight down the back of his pants and reached inside.

Police said they felt a foreign object during the search and removed a small bag containing 120 pills, believed to be oxymorphine. 

A judge threw the case out and said the search lacked probable cause.

Police deny that a cavity search was conducted, but Haliburton and attorney Todd Perkins argue otherwise.

Perkins said the techniques used in the search show the police officers were improperly trained and and he intends to move forward with a lawsuit that demands further training.

The body camera footage can be seen below. 

WARNING: This video contains strong images and language.

WARNING: This video contains strong images and language

About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.