Twelve women in Payallup, Wash. are filing a lawsuit against the Payallup Police Department, where they were filmed while stripping and using the toilet after being arrested for DUI.
Seattle defense attorney James Egan found the evidence when going through public records for a DUI case he was working on, ABC News reported.
That’s when he discovered that police officers had been filming people taken into jail, mostly young women on DUI charges, while they changed and used the bathroom without their knowledge.
“I’ve represented 1,000 people in DUIs, and I’ve never seen this,” Egan told ABC News’ “20/20.” “This practice appears to be a peep show.”
Egan has since taken on the “felony voyeurism” case of 12 of the victims involved, one of whom is a man. Since August, over 40 women have come forth with a similar story of misconduct.
The Seattle Post Intelligencer also reported that some of the women had been groped during pat-down searches and mocked about their appearance and how they used the toilet.
“I’m extremely angry. They’re there to serve and protect and protect us, and they completely took advantage of each and every one of us,” one of the plaintiffs said.
“You’re treated basically like an animal, like a piece of meat,” one victim told King 5 news. “And these people are supposed to be upholding the law.”
Puyallup Police Captain Scott Engle said the attorneys handling the case were purposefully contorting the facts of the case, suggesting that Egan and the other lawyers were using the women involved to gain a profit.
“This is a clear, great case example of someone using the state public records act for private commercial interests,” he told the Post Intelligencer. “Jail video monitoring systems are a dime a dozen.”
“We don’t believe there’s been any wrongdoing,” he added.