Lakeland pays $25,000 for bra shaking search

Lakeland pays $25,000 for bra shaking search

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The image from the dash cam video footage of the incident in Lakeland in 2013 The image from the dash cam video footage of the incident in Lakeland in 2013

The City of Lakeland has paid a $25,000 settlement to a woman at the center of highly-publicized bra-shaking incident that took place during a traffic stop.

Zoe Brugger was told to shake her bra as part of a search tactic after she was stopped by police for a broken headlight in May 2013. A check dated July 7th was paid to the 29-year-old. 

“You have to look at what’s it going to cost if we take this to court or what’s the settlement going to be and in this case it was all an academic exercise of it was less expensive for us, we thought, to settle than go to court,” Lakeland spokesman Kevin Cook said.

Silent video taken from the patrol car shows her being forced to shake out her bra multiple times in a search for drugs. The officer also searched her car over her objections. No drugs were found.

Lakeland police maintain the tactic used was not against policy. The officer involved, Dustin Fetz, was suspended without pay for one day because his dashcam microphone was off and he did not stop the search of Brugger's car when she asked him to cease. Officer Fetz is still employed at the Lakeland Police Department.

City officials tell News Channel 8 they are ready to move past the incident.

“We’ve changed our policy and if an officer is called to do a search on a female – we bring in a female officer and if one is unavailable we call in a sheriff’s deputy,” Cook said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.

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