'Degraded and dehumanized:' 2 women claim Mount Vernon police strip searched them without reason

Dorothy Barnes, 75, and Linda McNair, 65, say they were handcuffed and strip searched by Mount Vernon police Wednesday night.

News 12 Staff

Jun 20, 2020, 1:32 AM

Updated 1,435 days ago

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Two women say they are traumatized after Mount Vernon police allegedly treated them unfairly.
Dorothy Barnes, 75, and Linda McNair, 65, say they were handcuffed and strip searched by Mount Vernon police Wednesday night.
They say it started when McNair's husband handed the women $5 to play the lotto at a bodega on the corner of West 3rd Street and 10th Avenue.
Barnes says, "The cop came and got out and he opened the window told me to open the window and said 'Y'all have drugs in here?'"
The women say they were then told to step out of their vehicles. They say police searched their cars, handcuffed them and brought them to the precinct.
"I said, 'Go to the precinct with you for what? He said, 'Oh, you'll find out when I get there,'" McNair says.
Instead, both women say they were kept in a holding cell and were strip searched before they were told they could go free.
They tell News 12 that they were never informed why they were taken into custody in the first place.
Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard addressed the incident on Facebook Thursday.
"Late last night I was given information on a potential abuse of power by our Mount Vernon police," he says. "We've already started our internal investigation and if there is any legitimacy to it, then we will address the situation."
Christina T. Hall, the family's attorney, says she hopes McNair and Barnes will see justice served.
"They were completely degraded and dehumanized, that is 100% unacceptable and I hope this investigation is a fair one and has fair results," she says.


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