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5 sue city of Milwaukee for illegal strip searches

By: Associated Press//July 11, 2013//

5 sue city of Milwaukee for illegal strip searches

By: Associated Press//July 11, 2013//

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Former Milwaukee police officer Michael Vagnini looks at the bailiffs as they come to handcuff him following his sentencing Friday before Circuit Judge Jeffrey Wagner in Milwaukee. Vagnini was sentenced to 26 months in prison. (AP Photo/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Kristyna Wentz-Graff)
Former Milwaukee police officer Michael Vagnini looks at the bailiffs as they come to handcuff him following his sentencing June 21 before Circuit Judge Jeffrey Wagner in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Kristyna Wentz-Graff)

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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