A Michigan woman won her civil lawsuit against the City of Dearborn earlier this month. Shalandra Jones filed the suit in January 2014, after a police officer David Lacey violated her rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act during a 2012 traffic stop.
The officer, according to Jones, not only revealed her HIV status aloud but also humiliated and berated her, then detained and charged her based on her status.
During the traffic stop, Lacey claimed that he smelled marijuana in Jones's car and used this as a basis to search the car. Though Jones is a medical patient under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, Officer Lacey still issued Jones with a marijuana possession ticket. During the search, Lacey repeatedly commented on his fear of coming into contact with HIV and said that he was issuing the ticket because Jones had not revealed her status to him.
Lacey told Jones, falsely, that the she was required to tell him her status and that he did not want to bring "any diseases home to his family." He also stated that "Dearborn does not have that many people with HIV, and the police do not like people with HIV." He also told Jones that he only deals with "this kind of people" on the "other end of Dearborn."
"The City of Dearborn was committed to ensuring that a fair settlement was reached. Officer Lacy clearly violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and no person living with HIV should have to endure what Ms. Jones was subjected to," said Detroit Legal Services President Joshua L. Moore in a statement.
The 30-minute incident was captured by the police dashcam:
The misdemeanor charges for possession of marijuana against Jones were dismissed last year and the case was settled for an undisclosed amount.