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Phoenix Police say officer in body cavity search claim already punished

(KTAR News Photo/Peter Samore)

PHOENIX – Police in Phoenix said the officer who conducted a body search of woman that has led to a $12.5 million claim was suspended months ago after an internal investigation.

Erica Reynolds, 37, filed a notice of claim Monday, accusing police of sexual assault and battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress during her Dec. 26, 2018, arrest.

Police said in a statement after the court filing was announced that an investigation of the incident, which included a body cavity search performed by a female officer, began soon after.

“The Phoenix Police Department takes allegations of misconduct seriously and it is our goal to be receptive, accountable and transparent. In this case, an investigation was launched immediately upon learning of this incident,” Sgt. Mercedes Fortune said in an email.

The court claim said police wouldn’t investigate the abuse allegations or authorize a hospital where Reynolds was eventually taken to conduct a rape kit examination.

The Professional Standards Bureau finished its inquiry Feb. 25.

Reynolds had been sent to a substation in Phoenix in connection to an ongoing drug investigation, police said.

According to the court document, after being detained and forced to strip down to her socks, Reynolds said she endured a cavity search conducted by an officer who “inserted multiple unlubricated fingers.”

No contraband was found on Reynolds and she wasn’t charged at the time.

Less than two weeks ago, Dravon Ames and fiancee Iesha Harper filed a $10 million notice of claim accusing police of battery, unlawful imprisonment and violation of civil rights.

The couple and their two young daughters were confronted by officers with their guns drawn over a doll stolen from a discount store. A video of the incident went viral. Neither parent was arrested nor charged.

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