Alleged victims come forward on Milwaukee Police illegal strip search case

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by Keith Meka
by Jesse Tovar

MILWAUKEE -- Four alleged victims of illegal strip searches are not only suing the city of Milwaukee but eight current and former Milwaukee Police officers. Attorneys say there are many more victims out there.

Alleged victim Anthony Pettis says every time he was pulled over by Milwaukee Police they performed an illegal strip search on him. He says it happened about thirty separate times, "helpless, i felt humiliated...pull my pants down my boxers, he'd stick his two fingers every time."

A body cavity search requires a warrant as well as a safe and hygienic medical facility. These searches happened both on the streets as well as at the District 5 headquarters. Attorney Robin said, "When a man forcefully puts his hand up another man's rectum we have a word for that it's called sexual assault." 

Attorneys says this was a widespread practice by Milwaukee Police officers to try and find drugs on suspects. Just last month former M.P.D. officer Michael Vagnini was sentenced to 26 months behind bars in a plea deal, allowing him to avoid sexual assault charges.

Civil cases such as this can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages to the victims. Officials from the Milwaukee Police Department have not seen the lawsuit yet and do not have a comment at this time.

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