ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix council OKs $1.6M payment to settle body cavity search claim

Dec 19, 2019, 4:25 AM | Updated: 10:09 am
Erica Reynolds, center, at a press conference in Phoenix on June 24, 2019. (KTAR News Photo/Peter S...
Erica Reynolds, center, at a press conference in Phoenix on June 24, 2019. (KTAR News Photo/Peter Samore)
(KTAR News Photo/Peter Samore)

PHOENIX – The Phoenix City Council on Wednesday approved a payment of up to $1.6 million to settle a woman’s claim that police subjected her to an illegal body cavity search last year and then attempted to cover up the incident.

In June, Erica Reynolds filed a notice of claim, a precursor to a lawsuit, seeking $12.5 million. It accused police of sexual assault and battery, wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, gross negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The City Council approved the settlement by a 7-2 vote, with Sal DiCiccio and Jim Waring dissenting.

According to court documents, police said a long-term investigation had identified Reynolds, 37, as a co-conspirator in a drug trafficking ring.

According to Reynolds’ notice of claim, she was detained Dec. 26, 2018, and taken to a south Phoenix police substation, where she was forced to strip down to her socks and endure a cavity search conducted by a female officer who “inserted multiple unlubricated fingers.”

The claim said Reynolds needed medical attention after the search and was treated at a hospital, where staff documented signs of sexual assault and rectal bleeding.

Police wouldn’t investigate Reynolds’ abuse allegations or authorize the hospital to conduct a rape kit examination, according to the claim.

No illegal contraband was found during the search, according to the claim, and Reynolds wasn’t charged at the time.

Reynolds was later arrested and booked on drug charges Feb. 6. The probable cause statement referred to the Dec. 26 traffic stop but didn’t mention a trip to a substation or a body cavity search.

She was booked on four drug-related counts, but according to a website set up by her legal team with information about the case, prosecutors never pursued criminal charges.

After the notice of claim was filed, Phoenix Police said the officer involved already had been suspended after an internal investigation into the incident, which was completed Feb. 25.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Phoenix police involved in shooting near 52nd Street and Thomas Road

Phoenix police were involved in a shooting with a suspect on Monday night, authorities said. 
19 hours ago
The Colorado River winds its way along the West Rim of the Grand Canyon in the Hualapai Indian Rese...
Associated Press

Grand Canyon starting water limitations after pumphouse outage

Grand Canyon National Park is starting water conservation measures on the North Rim due to an electrical failure involving the Roaring Springs pumphouse.
19 hours ago
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
Danny Shapiro

National Guard sets up barricade around Arizona Capitol following abortion ruling protests

The Arizona National Guard has set up razor-wire fencing around the Capitol complex in downtown Phoenix following protests over the weekend in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the constitutional right to abortions.
19 hours ago
Traffic stops as thousands of protesters march around the Arizona Capitol after the Supreme Court o...
Associated Press

Groups want court to block Arizona ‘personhood’ law in wake of Roe ruling

An emergency motion was filed seeking to block a 2021 Arizona “personhood” law that abortion rights supporters fear will be used to halt all abortions.
19 hours ago
(KTAR News Photo/Jeremy Schnell)...
Kevin Stone

Sinkhole almost swallows car after pipe breaks on Phoenix street

A motorist escaped uninjured after driving into a sinkhole that opened up after a pipe broke under a Phoenix street Sunday night.
19 hours ago
From left, Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (Getty Images Photo) and House Minority Leader Regina...
Kevin Stone

Arizona party leaders laud state budget as bipartisan achievement

The Republican and Democratic leaders of the Arizona House both came out of budget negotiations with good things to say about the agreement.
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
...
Canvas Annuity

The secret to guaranteed retirement income

Annuities aren’t really a secret, but they are so misunderstood that they might as well be. Once you understand what an annuity is and how it can benefit you, you could decide this “secret” is the perfect supplement to your retirement plan.
Phoenix council OKs $1.6M payment to settle body cavity search claim