The young woman cried as she obeyed the officer’s command.
June 20, 2013
A Florida police officer ordered a young woman to shake out her bra twice during a traffic stop.
On May 21, Zoe Brugger was driving her boyfriend home from work when Lakeland Officer Dustin Fetz pulled her over for a busted headlight. A dash cam video shows Officer Fetz telling Brugger to lift up her shirt and shake out her bra, not once but twice under the guise of “finding drugs.”
Brugger broke down into tears as she followed the officer’s commands. The traffic stop occurred in plain view of the public.
Fetz also conducted a search of her car even though Brugger did not give verbal permission for the search. There was no apparent reason to suspect that Brugger had drugs and no drugs were found.
The state attorney for the tenth district, Jerry Hill, sent the Lakeland police chief a highly critical, 15-page letter which accused the department of training and supervision deficiencies. Hill also stated that if Brugger had been a criminal with a weapon under her shirt, shaking out her bra could have allowed her to retrieve it.
“First off, it was plain inappropriate, let’s get that out of the way,” said Hill. “It’s just wrong. It is not a sanctioned procedure that is taught anywhere as far as we can determine.”
Hill found out about the incident from a “letter to the editor” printed in the Lakeland Ledger, a local newspaper. A retired lawyer and personal friend of Brugger wrote the letter.
Brugger is still deciding whether to pursue legal action against the department.
Fetz was put on paid administrative leave for four days. He has been with the department since 2008.