— Domani Spero
There is a video circulating on social media which claims to be showing the CCTV footage of the strip search of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade after her arrest in New York. The video was “user submitted” on zemtv.com on January 3, 2013 under the headline CCTV Footage of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade being strip searched By U.S Police. The video is online on Tune.pk, Pakistan’s video sharing website where it has 18.9K views, on DailyMotion where it has 123,011 views and on YouTube, where the video is no longer displayed but the following notice is up “Indian diplomat D…” This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Arup Bhattacharya.” Both videos are 1:10 minutes in length and appears to be the same footage.
This alleged CCTV footage of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade’s strip search is a hoax. It is ill-intentioned and could put Americans, particularly official Americans in danger. Given that the Khobragade’s case has already spawned a good number of conspiracy theories, particularly in India, we don’t think that people will just accept it when we say this is a hoax. “Allegedly a hoax” is how the official denial that this video is a hoax is referred to in some parts of social media.
This is not/not “allegedly a hoax” but a real hoax. Nothing but video fakery and we’ve got proof.
The woman in the alleged Khobragade video is not/not the Indian diplomat but Hope Steffey, a U.S. citizen strip-searched by the Stark County sheriff’s department in Ohio in 2006. The video was obtained by Ms. Steffey’s lawyer and released to the public in 2008 (See 12:44 minute video with Tom Meyer for WKYC-TV, Channel 3, Cleveland, OH)
The screen capture from a report by WKYC-TV (uploaded by a different YouTube user) shows the same woman on a blue mattress being strip searched.
In June 2010, WKYC-TV reported that the settlement of the Hope Steffey lawsuit against Stark County Sheriff Tim Swanson, accusing his deputies of using brutal and excessive force resulted in the payment of $475,000. The total cost to Stark County to defend and settle the Steffey lawsuit was reportedly more than $705,000. It also resulted in the insurance premium for the
country county to dramatically jump from $34,261 in 2008 to $195,350 in 2010.
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