The city of San Antonio wants to make a $205,000 payout to a woman who sued in federal court, alleging that an SAPD detective pulled down her shorts in public and inappropriately searched her vagina for drugs.
City council is scheduled to vote Thursday whether to fund the settlement via the city's Self-Insurance Liability Fund, according to an agenda posted online
“We evaluate cases and look for potential resolutions without the necessity of proceeding to trial," City Attorney Andy Segovia said in a written statement supplied to the Current
We were able to resolve this matter with this proposed settlement and believe it to be in the best interest of all involved.”
The lawsuit, filed last year by Natalie D. Simms, alleges now-retired SAPD Detective Mara Wilson conducted an illegal vaginal cavity search on Simms after she was approached by officers while she sat on a curb waiting for her boyfriend.
The officers asked Simms whether they could search her car for drugs, the suit charges. When the search turned up no contraband, they called for a female officer to search her person.
According to the allegations in the suit, Wilson, a 32-year force veteran, slid down Simms' shorts and examined her vagina in view of the street while male officers were present. The officer also pulled a tampon from Simms’ vagina and held it up, inspecting it in front of the other cops.
The suit references video footage taken from a squad car camera that appears to show Simms raising objections when it appeared Wilson was ready to probe her anus to continue the search.
"Officer Wilson had violated Natalie vaginally, and now it appeared that she might violate Natalie anally," the lawsuit alleges. "She was doing so without a warrant, with no medical personnel present, and on a public street in view of several people as well as those passing by."
According to the suit, Wilson was never disciplined for the search because internal affairs found that she hadn't violated any department policies. She retired in 2017.
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