Scottsdale City Council approves $200K settlement for wrongful arrest case

The Scottsdale City Council agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by a woman wrongfully arrested for $200,000.
Published: Apr. 6, 2023 at 6:26 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Yessenia Garcia felt like a criminal, but she wasn’t. The esthetician claims she was wrongfully arrested and mistreated by Scottsdale police in May 2020. “They were definitely treating me as if I had hurt somebody,” said Garcia. “I didn’t even understand why they were being so mean, so rude.”

Garcia was accused of driving under the influence and causing a hit-and-run crash. Surveillance video confirmed she was not involved. Garcia’s attorney Ben Taylor filed a civil rights lawsuit against the City of Scottsdale in federal court. It was a case the Scottsdale City Council decided was not worth going to trial. This week, council members approved a $200,000 settlement in the wrongful arrest case. “This mug shot has ruined Yessenia Garcia’s life,” said Tayor. “The action and wrongdoing from Scottsdale to arrest her, make her strip nude, this will traumatize her for the rest of her life.”

Officers found the victims dead at an apartment near 8th Avenue and Country Club Drive.

Scottsdale’s police chief has admitted that mistakes were made in this case, and two officers were disciplined, receiving 20-hour and 40-hour suspensions. He also apologized to Garcia. As part of the settlement, the city is not assuming any responsibility. “I always tell people that officers have a hard job,” said Taylor. “But because they where the badge, they have a bigger level of responsibility to the community and the public.”