The dashboard camera video horrified people in the U.S. and throughout the world. A college student, Charnesia Corley, handcuffed after a north side traffic stop in a Texaco parking lot, stripped naked, pushed to her knees, head jammed beneath her car, legs forcibly pried apart as Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputies searched her vagina for marijuana. The ordeal lasted more than eleven excruciating minutes
Corley’s lawyer called the search “rape by cop.” Deputies justified the search and claimed her clothes “fell off on their own.”
However, Harris County officials have agreed to settle a civil rights lawsuit brought by the young woman against the county. The payout? 185,000 taxpayer dollars, FOX 26 News reports.
“On behalf of myself and the County and the taxpayers in Harris County, I want to say to Miss Corley, I apologize and it really was unfortunate,” Harris County Precinct One Commissioner Rodney Ellis said in a statement. “It was outrageous. I have three daughters, one who is about her age and if that happened to my daughter I’d use all the resources I could muster to try and get justice and send a signal out. Now how the County ended up settling it for this mere pittance, I don’t know.”
Despite the settlement and clear admission of wrongdoing by Harris County, the officers will not be punished for their actions. In 2017, criminal indictments against two officers involved were quietly dropped after District Attorney Kim Ogg presented the case again to a different grand jury, claiming there was new evidence.
Community activist Quanell X says the settlement sends a dangerous message moving forward.
“I think the powers that be are going to say to themselves, if we can do that, something so egregious as sexually assaulting a young woman on the side of the road, who did not deserve that, if we can do that and avoid prosecution and pay crumbs in a settlement, well why should we be concerned or be afraid of anything?,” he asked.
All three deputies involved in the cavity search remain on payroll, according to the report.
Watch the video below: