Woman who was ticketed for having HIV settles for $40K


By The Root

A Detroit woman who filed a lawsuit against the city of Dearborn, Mich., after she was ticketed in 2012 for having HIV has reached a $40,000 settlement.

According to the New York Daily News, the August 2012 incident, which was recorded on the police dash cam, shows Dearborn Police Officer David Lacey pulling over a car in which Shalandra Jones was a passenger.

Officer Lacey took Jones from the car and began rummaging through her purse. He asked about the medications she had with her, and she informed the officer that she has HIV. Jones, now 43, has been living with the virus for 14 years.

The officer then berated Jones, informing her that her HIV status “might be something you want to tell a cop if they pull you out of a car.” He added that she had “made him mad” and could be heard on the footage saying, “I’ve been going through her purse and she’s got earrings and [s–t] I’m touching, and I don’t want to catch anything.”

Lacey reportedly pulled Jones out of the car because he smelled marijuana, but implied that had Jones informed him of her HIV status, he wouldn’t have given her a ticket because the marijuana was medical.

“Honestly, if it wasn’t for that, I don’t think I would have wrote anybody for anything,” Lacey said. “But that kind of really aggravated me, you know what I mean? You got to tell me right away. … Because at that time, I wasn’t wearing any gloves.”

The officer went on to give the car’s driver tickets “for driving without a license and for [a] broken taillight. Jones was given a ticket for the medical pot, but it was eventually thrown out,” the Daily News reports.

The officer’s actions “added to the fear people with HIV have for disclosing their status,” Jones’ lawyer Josh Moore told the Daily News. “I have clients who won’t even share their status with health care professionals.”

“People need to know that stigmas can kill people with HIV,” Jones told the Daily News. “It makes you think differently, it makes you feel differently, when you get harsh behavior from people.”

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