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Police Drug Search Interrupts Man's Final Moments With Deceased Wife

Posted on  January 11, 2013 by  News Admin

 A Utah man said police interrupted a private moment of mourning with his just-deceased wife of 58 years when they searched his house for her prescription medication without a warrant, within 10 minutes of her death. Ben D. Mahaffey, 80, said he was distraught and trying to make sure the body of his wife, Barbara Alice Mahaffey, would be taken to the funeral home with dignity, reports Dennis Romboy at Deseret News. Instead, police officers insisted that he help them "look for the drugs." "I was holding her hand saying goodbye when all the intrusion happened," Mahaffey said. Barbara died at 12:35 a.m., with Mahaffey, a Korean War veteran, and his friend, an EMT, at her side. Police, a mortician and a hospice worker arrived at the home about 12:45 a.m., Mahaffey said; he didn't know how police came to be there. "I was indignant to think you can't even have a private moment," Mahaffey said. "All these people were there and they're not concerned about her or me. They're concerned about the damn drugs. Isn't that something?" Mahaffey said the police treated him as if he planned to sell the painkillers, including OxyContin, oxycodone and morphone, on the street. "I had no interest in the drugs," he said. "I'm no addict." Mahaffey filed a federal lawsuit last week, saying police violated his Fourth and 14th Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure and for equal protection under the law. The officers' conduct "at the deeply intimate setting, and during...