A Lakeland, Fla., police officer is under fire after ordering a woman to shake her bra during an unjustified search for drugs at a traffic stop.
Officer Dustin Fetz pulled over Zoe Brugger and her boyfriend on May 21 because Brugger was driving with a broken headlight, the Ledger of Lakeland reported. Fetz told her to lift up her shirt, pull her bra away from her body and shake it out so he could see if she was hiding any drugs.DASH-CAM FOOTAGE (Story Continues Below):
He then ordered her to do it again and asked permission to search her car. Brugger agreed, but changed her answer to "no" before he started, but Fetz searched the vehicle anyway. No drugs were found on her, on her boyfriend or in her car.
"[Fetz] made me go through the whole humiliating ordeal with shaking my bra out right there in the middle of this parking lot," Brugger said, according to WFLA. "He told me that he was taking me to Bartow Jail for driving on a suspended license and that they had an x-ray machine there and they were definitely going to find what I had hidden inside me there."
An acquaintance of Brugger's wrote a letter to the editor of the Ledger about the incident. The letter was published June 2, prompting an investigation by the State Attorney's Office.
Fetz was placed on paid administrative leave for four days while the investigation took place, returning to work June 18.
Investigator Mike Brown filed a report stating that Fetz's actions "went beyond the police actions that are permissible under law" and "violated the constitutional rights afforded to Zoe Brugger," according to WFLA.
State Attorney Jerry Hill sent a letter to the LPD this week, calling Fetz's behavior "egregious" and "demeaning." The letter added that Brugger did not believe Fetz's demands were sexually motivated, but that he was "on a power trip." Hill noted there is evidence of other LPD officers using the bra-shake method in the past.
Lakeland Police Chief Lisa Womack called the incident "highly questionable" in a statement obtained by Fox 13. Womack added that "this department does not condone [Fetz's] alleged actions."