San Antonio Settles Lawsuit With Woman Who Said Police Searched Her Vagina in the Street and Removed Her Tampon

click to enlarge Dash camera video included in Natalie Simms' lawsuit shows her being searched by an SAPD officer. - Offices of Dean Malone, P.C.
Offices of Dean Malone, P.C.
Dash camera video included in Natalie Simms' lawsuit shows her being searched by an SAPD officer.
San Antonio on Thursday approved a $205,000 payout to a woman who filed a civil rights suit alleging police searched her vagina after detaining her on the street to search for drugs.

In a federal lawsuit, Natalie Simms said a female SAPD detective pulled down her shorts and examined her vagina in view of the street and male officers. The detective also slid a tampon from Simms’ vagina and held it up, inspecting it in front of the other cops, the suit alleges.

Police found no drugs during the search, according to the filing.

“There's no amount of money that will satisfy Natalie, in that she's had something taken from her that can never be replaced — and that's her dignity,” said Dean Malone, the Dallas lawyer representing Simms.

In a written statement, City Attorney Andy Segovia said his office reviews cases to see whether they can be closed without a trial.

"We were able to resolve this matter with this proposed settlement and believe it to be in the best interest of all involved,” he said.

Malone said Simms was prepared to go trial had the city not approved a settlement. City officials never apologized to her for the search or admitted wrongdoing, he added.

Simms spent months trying to find a lawyer willing to take the case and was repeatedly turned down, according to Malone. He said he worries similar cases go unreported because people don't know their rights, are afraid to sue or can't find representation.

"I have concerns that this kind of thing goes on more frequently than we as a society would care to admit," Malone said.

Stay on top of San Antonio news and views. Sign up for our Weekly Headlines Newsletter.
Scroll to read more San Antonio News articles

About The Author

Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.


Join SA Current Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.