NEW INFORMATION: 5 sue city of Milwaukee for illegal strip searches

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Five men are suing the city of Milwaukee and police chief over strip searches that led to criminal charges against four officers.

Two plaintiffs said at a news conference Thursday that the searches, which they called humiliating, amounted to sexual assault.

The men say officers probed their rectal and genital areas without probable cause and said the officers claimed they were looking for drugs.

In Wisconsin, police officers are prohibited from doing any cavity searches. Such searches can be performed only by a doctor, physician's assistant or registered nurse.

Plaintiffs' attorney Jon Loevy says the fact that his clients are black and the officers are white "speaks for itself."

A message left with the Milwaukee city attorney wasn't immediately returned. A police spokesman said he hadn't seen the lawsuit yet.
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MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Two civil lawsuits have been filed over illegal strip searches by Milwaukee police.

The lawsuits have been filed by five men who were among those who came forward during a criminal investigation into the searches. Four officers were charged as a result. One officer, Michael Vagnini, has been sentenced to 26 months in prison. Charges against the three others are pending.

State law and Milwaukee Police Department policy prohibit police officers from doing cavity searches under any circumstances. Such searches can be performed only by a doctor, physician's assistant or registered nurse.

The Journal Sentinel says the plaintiffs allege the illegal searches were allowed to continue without any retribution. The lawsuits don't demand a damage amount.

A message left with the Milwaukee city attorney Thursday wasn't immediately returned


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