The city of Milwaukee has racked up another significant courtroom loss in a string of illegal strip search and cavity-search practices of former police officers, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. A federal jury has awarded $1,995,000 in actual and punitive damages in one case. An officer pulled down a suspect’s pants and underwear, finding a bag of marijuana tucked under his scrotum.
This year, the city agreed to pay $5 million to settle about a dozen similar lawsuits brought by 74 African-American residents who claimed to have been subjected to the illegal strip and body cavity searches. Four officers were convicted of crimes in connection with illegal strip and cavity searches in district stations and on the street from 2008 to 2012. They were forced to resign as a result. One officer pleaded no contest to four felonies and four misdemeanors and was sentenced to 26 months in prison. The others were convicted of misdemeanors.