New Mexico Police Spray Woman’s Vagina With Mace After Drug Arrest

A New Mexico woman was allegedly strip searched--and then had mace sprayed on her vagina, according to a federal lawsuit filed earlier this week.  The New Mexico news outlet KOB 4 reports that Marlene Tapia suffered from the ordeal for weeks after the incident.


The alleged incident occurred two years ago.  Tapia’s legal team, who called what the police did “tantamount to torture,” says it takes time to build a civil rights case and that they filed before the statute of limitations was up.

Tapia was arrested for a probation violation linked to a separate drug case.  While at the Metropolitan Detention Center, she was strip searched by officers, who found a plastic baggie “protruding from Tapia’s vagina,” according to KOB 4. That’s when officer Blanca Zapater sprayed mace on her vagina.  It caused severe pain to Tapia, including burning, swollen genitals and painful urination.

The American Civil Liberties Union’s New Mexico chapter has taken up the case.  Their director, Peter Simonson, said he was shocked by “the maliciousness, the wanton disregard, wanton maliciousness that the corrections officer demonstrated...This is the kind of chemical that is intended to be sprayed on other parts of the body, to cause pain, but to spray it on the very most sensitive part of a person’s body only doubles the pain.”

Simonson says the spraying violated his client’s Constitutional rights and jail policy.

The detention center refused to comment on the case, but confirmed that Blanca Zapater was a staff member and said she was disciplined over the mace spraying incident.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}
@2022 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by fontsempire.com.