Wi Legal News Update

Numerous Authorities Investigating Illegal Strip Searches And Body Cavity Searches By Milwaukee Police Officers

Several citizens have complained that City of Milwaukee police officers have subjected them to illegal strip searches and body cavity searches. In response to these complaints, multiple investigations of the City of Milwaukee Police Department ("MPD") are currently underway.

Wisconsin law contains strict requirements that must be satisfied for a police officer to conduct a strip search or a body cavity search. A strip search is defined as a search of a detained person where the person's private areas are uncovered and either exposed to view or touched by the person conducting the search. For a strip search to be legal:  (1) the person conducting the search must be the same sex as the person being searched; (2) the search cannot expose the person being searched to public view; (3) the search cannot be recorded; and (4) the person conducting the search must obtain prior written consent from an appropriate authority, unless the person conducting the search has probable cause to believe that the person being searched is concealing a weapon. In addition, only a physician, physician's assistant or registered nurse can conduct a body cavity search.

Apparently MPD officers have not been following these requirements when conducting strip searches or body cavity searches, and the MPD has apparently been aware of such complaints for at least a couple of years. As a result, the MPD is currently investigating at least seven officers, in addition to at least one sergeant, for conducting illegal strip searches and body cavity searches. The Milwaukee County District Attorney has convened a secret John Doe investigation, where persons can be subpoenaed to testify regarding their knowledge of the allegedly illegal searches. In addition, federal authorities are investigating. Samster, Konkel & Safran, S.C. is currently representing a number of victims of these allegedly illegal searches and investigating whether claims for civil rights violations may be pursued.

Keep monitoring www.skslawyers.com for updates on the progress of these investigations. If you have been subject to an illegal strip search or bodily cavity search, contact Samster, Konkel & Safran, S.C. to discuss your legal remedies.  

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