Kayla Robinson, a 24-year-old African-American woman, filed a lawsuit in November 2016 against a white St. Louis police detective, Angela Hawkins, for allegedly doing a vaginal search in public on the night of Oct. 19, 2012.
According to the Riverfront Times, Robinson was a passenger in a car that made a U-turn, which prompted Hawkins and her partner to pull the vehicle over for allegedly trying to avoid a police checkpoint further up the road.
Hawkins asserted in the police report that, during the traffic stop, she saw Robinson trying to hide a bag containing marijuana in her panties, and trying to hide a crack rock under her foot.
Robinson's lawsuit said that she did surrender a small bag of pot to Hawkins, who then accused Robinson of stuffing something else down her pants. The suit says that Hawkins walked Robinson over to a parking lot, and called for a rubber glove over a police radio.
According to the lawsuit, a male officer arrived with the rubber gloves, Hawkins put on the gloves, turned Robinson to face the male officer, and started taking off Robinson's pants.
Hawkins allegedly made Robinson bend over, and then searched Robinson's vagina from the rear with gloved fingers in public.
After not finding any drugs inside Robinson's vagina, the suit says, Hawkins buttoned Robinson's pants, "slammed her with excessive force into the parked trailer" and demanded that Robinson explain where "the dope and the guns" were.
Hawkins arrested Robinson on suspicion of two counts of drug possession, but the district attorney never filed charges.
Robinson said she filed a complaint with the internal affairs division. The police department asserted that it responded with a letter nine months later, but Robinson said that she never got the letter.
Robinson contacted the internal affairs division in 2015, and got a written response from the police department that said her complaint had been "sustained," and that Hawkins was going to be "disciplined" in an unspecified manner.
The police department would not comment to the Riverfront Times because the case involves ongoing litigation.
Robinson's lawsuit includes the City of St. Louis, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson, and two more officers.
According to Hawkins' LinkedIn page, she has been awarded three times for her police work: Meritorious Service Citation (August 2007), Officer of the Month (August 2007), and Missouri Medal of Valor (March 2012), which is pictured above.