Man to file lawsuit against Ferndale police for body cavity search he says went too far

Posted at 9:35 PM, Aug 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-01 22:10:52-04

FERNDALE, Mich. (WXYZ) — A man who says he was the victim of a body cavity search gone too far, plans to file a lawsuit against the Ferndale Police Department.

The incident occurred May 1 at 8 p.m.

According to police, the Ferndale officer who conducted the search pulled over a 2019 Kia Sorrento for speeding in the area of Eight Mile and Woodward.

The officer claims that during the traffic stop, he saw the passenger in the vehicle moving around in his seat, which he said gave him probable cause for a search.

The driver of the vehicle did not have a license in his possession and it was suspended. The passenger, Marteze Haliburton, did have a license, however, both the driver and passenger had warrants for arrest, police say.

In a statement from the Ferndale Police Department, the officer used "an appropriate technique" in searching Haliburton.

"While this type of movement does not in and of itself create a situation that would allow an officer to search a subject, it is an indicator that a subject might be attempting to hide contraband and merits further investigation," the statement goes on to read.

Police say that during the hand search, the officer felt a foreign object on Haliburton. The officer then reached into the back of the man's pants and removed a baggie that contained 120 suspect oxymorphone pills.

Haliburton told police he held a prescription for the pills, and that he was keeping them in that area because he didn't have the pill bottle.

The officer arrested Haliburton for possession with intent to deliver synthetic narcotics.

A judge later decided to throw out the case against Haliburton, citing that there was not probable cause for Haliburton's search.

"We deny the claim by Mr. Haliburton that any type of body cavity search was conducted by the officer," Ferndale police said in a statement.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story stated that the lawsuit was already filed. Haliburton's attorney says that the lawsuit will be filed shortly.