BILOXI, Miss. — A lawsuit filed against the city of Biloxi alleges police officers sexually harassed a teenage girl before arresting her without cause.
According to our media partner, the Sun Herald, the lawsuit was filed by the teen’s mother at the request of her daughter. The family said they could not discuss the situation while the lawsuit is pending.
The lawsuit claims the teenage girl, wearing pajamas, was driving to pick up her sister from a casino late at night when she was pulled over by Biloxi police.
The Sun Herald reports the officer ordered the girl to get out of her car and stand behind it.
The teen said she put her arms across her chest to cover herself, but officers ordered her to put her hands down at her side. The lawsuit claims it was “a blatant attempt to look at her breasts.”
The lawsuit also claims the officers “repeatedly ordered the (teenager) to move her arms and uncover her breasts and stand in the open, and made inappropriate sexual remarks.”
The teenager consented to a field sobriety test. She later requested a breathalyzer, but said the officers would not give her one.
In response to the lawsuit, the city of Biloxi says: “It is admitted that (teenager) was asked to place her hands at her side in connection with performing the field sobriety tests, but it is specifically denied that there was any sexual harassment. It is admitted that two other Biloxi officers were present who were males.”
Following the traffic stop, the girl was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of a substance other than alcohol, driving without a license, an expired tag and a traffic violation.
The DUI charge was dropped and erased shortly after the girl’s arrest on July 27, 2018. The teenager was not named in the lawsuit because she was a minor. The officers involved in the traffic stop have also not been identified.
The lawsuit was recently moved to federal court and accuses the city of Biloxi of false arrest and imprisonment, sexual harassment, gross negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Biloxi Police Chief John Miller said he could not comment on the incident while the lawsuit is pending. The city of Biloxi denies any wrongdoing and says in its response to the lawsuit that the teen was pulled over because she ran a red light.
For more details, read the full Sun Herald article here.