AUSTIN (AP) — The Texas House has preliminarily approved a bill requiring police and law enforcement officials to get a search warrant before conducting body cavity searches.
Houston Democratic Rep. Harold Dutton Jr. said that although officers rarely search a person’s vagina or anal cavity, his bill would prohibit doing so without warrants.
Lawmakers’ unanimous voice vote Monday came two years after the state settled a federal civil rights lawsuit for $185,000 with two women whose genitals were probed by a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper.
The trooper was fired and criminally charged for the incident, which occurred in Irving. Still, DPS spokesman Tom Vinger said “intrusive body searches without a warrant” have always been against department policy.
Dutton’s measure needs a final, largely ceremonial House vote before heading to the Senate.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.