A Black woman from San Antonio has reached a tentative $205,000 settlement with the Texas city after a police officer removed her tampon during a vaginal search, which took place on a public street in front of a male officer.
Natalie Simms' lawyer Dean Malone confirmed the settlement amount, adding that the case was already close to trial when an attorney for the police department suggested that they head to mediation.
"I don't think any amount of money would compensate Natalie for what she has gone through. She feels a piece of her was taken away that can't be restored," Malone told the Daily News.
Simms claims that she was sitting on a curb waiting for her boyfriend on Aug. 8, 2016, when police approached and accused her of possessing illegal drugs. Simms had no drugs on her and so consented to a search of her car, and a female officer was called to the scene, the lawsuit states.
Simms went on to say that after she made a "respectful complaint," the officer then zoned in on her shorts, underwear, and genital area, the paperwork says.
The female officer pulled open Natalie's pants and underwear and used her flashlight to look at the area around and including that covered by pubic hair and a portion of Natalie's vagina," the lawsuit alleges.
"Disgustingly, and in clear violation of Natalie's constitutional rights, Officer (Mara) Wilson chose to reach into Natalie's pants and pull the string attached to a tampon which was present in Natalie's vaginal cavity," the filing reads.
"Officer Wilson was not confused at all about what she saw when she chose to shine her flashlight into — and ultimately thrust her hand into — the part of Natalie's body, which was most intimate. Natalie had not consented to such a search," the paperwork alleges.