Bexar County Dragging Their Feet in Strip Search Litigation
It's been a long time since an aggressive strip search took place in San Antonio. And sadly, it's also taken a long time for the litigation to get settled.
Maybe because they have experience on this subject, but authorities in Bexar County (down San Antonio way) have been very slow about settling a suit brought against them because of strip search in public. A few years back they settled a strip search complaint for 5.5 million dollars.
This latest incident happened on August 8th, 2016. One Natalie Simms was sitting on a curb of a public street in San Antonio talking on her phone. Her car was parked across the street at the time. Uniformed officers appeared and thought that Simms possessed illegal drugs. Ms. Simms consented to a search of her vehicle, then one of the two male officers called and asked for a female officer to search Ms. Simms.
It was this search that seemed overly aggressive. A dash cam captured one perspective of the search. It showed the female officer opening up Ms. Simms pants and flashlighting her pubic area. This is in the public street mind you. The flashlight highlighted a string. The officer was informed that Ms. Simms was menstruating at the time. The female officer then reached in and pull said string, removing a tampon. No warrant allowed the search. No drugs were found on Ms. Simms person or vehicle.
Needless to say a civil suit was filed, but it's been a years since that happened that suit has yet to have been settled.
Ms. Simms attorney, Dean Malone, who is a Constitutional Rights Attorney, said, "It is unfortunate that a San Antonio resident could be subjected to such a search, and then further be subjected to lengthy litigation with no attempt by the Defendants to resolve the case. The Defendants have spent untold thousands of dollars, and are now attempting to avoid a jury trial through their latest-filed motions. Natalie was humiliated and degraded by the search. If the court chooses to deny the Defendants’ motions, we look forward to presenting Natalie’s horrific ordeal to a jury in San Antonio."
Reading the press release on the subject, I can't imagine that anyone would want this to go trial. I've been on a few juries in my time and this is a slam dunk for Ms. Simms.
Unless the police can seat 12 men who are uncomfortable talking about "strings", there's no chance they win this case. Pony up the cash and make this go away. Let this person get on with her life.