Thursday, March 22, 2012

Some Strip Cavity Searches By Milwaukee Police Gang Unit From District 5 Occurred In Public

Edward Flynn

Victims of alleged illegal cavity searches by police coming forward.

By H. Nelson Goodson
March 22, 2012

Milwaukee - The Milwaukee police special gang unit from the 5th District Police Station have been placed on administrative duty and their police powers have been temporarily suspended. They have also been reassigned to desk duty on other districts pending the outcome of the investigation.
At least 8 officers, including a sergeant have been targeted in the internal investigation that was initiated by the department after complaints surfaced, according to Edward Flynn, Milwaukee Chief of Police.
On Thursday, Chief Flynn confirmed that an internal investigation had been launched to investigate alleged illegal cavity searches in public and at the District 5 station by the officers in question. The public should not jump into conclusion about the searches, some of the allegations could be false and other allegations could be true, according to Flynn.
The officers accused of illegal searches might have violated department policy. The sergeant involved apparently lacked proper authority by rank and file supervisors to approve cavity searches. Most of the searches were conducted on suspected drug users stopped by police on the field, according to Flynn.
Some of the victims who are mostly black males are stepping forward and filing complaints against the accused officers, local media outlets reported. The victims claimed they were stopped without cause and searched in public.
A victim says, police made him lower his trousers in public during the day. He was padded down while other pedestrians looked on or people drove by.
Black women are also expected to come forward and admit that alleged cavity searches by the police gang unit were done on them as well. Illegal cavity searches by police might have violated the civil rights of the victims involved.
Chief Flynn called on the community in the District 5 area and those who believe they were victimized by the accused officers to come forward and file complaints with the Fire and Police Commission.
So far, no information has been released by the department of how wide the problem of cavity searches has spread, or if other police gang units assigned to other district stations have engaged in illegal cavity searches.

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