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Walker signs bill expanding strip search authority

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill that expands authorities’ ability to conduct strip searches.

Previously, anyone arrested or detained on suspicion of a crime that isn’t a felony could be strip-searched only if the person would be held with others for at least 12 hours. The Republican bill removes the 12-hour requirement.

GOP lawmakers say the change will increase safety for inmates and guards. Democrats have questioned how Republicans can expand strip searches given the potential for abuse, pointing to a $5 million settlement the city of Milwaukee reached in January with 74 black men who alleged police subjected them to illegal strip and body cavity searches.

Walker signed the bill in private Tuesday.

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