Woman's Tampon Forcibly Pulled Out In Public By Police Officer Looking For Drugs; Gets $205K Settlement

Woman's Tampon Forcibly Pulled Out In Public By Police Officer Looking For Drugs; Gets $205K Settlement

Police officers searching for drugs in Natalie D. Simms' possession conduced an illegal body search thus humiliating the woman in public.

A woman received a $205,000 settlement from the city of San Antonio, after filing a federal lawsuit against the city's police officers who conducted a warrantless vaginal cavity search in public. Back in August 2016, Natalie D. Simms, 40, was approached by the authorities while sitting on the side of a street, talking on the phone and waiting for her boyfriend, reports ABC affiliate KSAT 12. They believed Simms was hiding illegal drugs in her vehicle and so they asked if they could search her car. 



Documents revealed that Simms consented to a vehicle search and when the officers did not find anything illegal in her car, a female officer was called to the scene to conduct a body search. Detective Mara Wilson, who has now retired, started examining Simms in front of several male officers which was partially recorded by the dash camera on her police vehicle. The officer then pulled down Simms' pants and underwear and with the help of a flashlight began searching her vaginal cavity. Furthermore, she pulled out a tampon from her vagina and held it in the air for approximately 23 seconds.



When Simms asked if the officers could continue this body search back at the station as it taking place out in the open, Wilson straight out denied saying, "I ain't going nowhere. I'm gonna search you right here." The lawsuit further states how Wilson made an unnecessary comment about Simms' pubic hair. Finally, they allowed her to drive away in her after being unable to find anything illegal in her possession.



However, she didn't consent for the body search which was surely a humiliating thing that was done to her in public. "Officer Wilson had violated Natalie vaginally, and now it appeared that she might violate Natalie anally," said the suit. "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." The suit, therefore, claims Simms' constitutional rights were violated. 



The officers at the scene were investigating potential drug activity which was said to be taking place in the area. That's when one of the detectives saw Simms, who happened to have a criminal record, in the area where another woman was said to have been selling drugs reports the  San Antonio Express-News. But that doesn't change the fact that they carried out an illegal search which left Simms humiliated in public."Officers did not find anything illegal, after searching her car and searching her," continued the suit. "Even though Natalie was allowed to leave the scene, a part of her dignity and self-worth was left behind."



On Thursday, the San Antonio City Council agreed to pay the woman $205,000 to settle the suit then and there, in order to, avoid it from going to trial. "We evaluate cases and look for potential resolutions without the necessity of proceeding to trial.  We were able to resolve this matter with this proposed settlement and believe it to be in the best interest of all involved," said Andy Segovia, the City Attorney.


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