Allegations that seven Milwaukee police officers and a sergeant may have sexually assaulted people and violated their civil rights while conducting body cavity searches on the street have led to the most sweeping investigation of the police department in at least a decade, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Milwaukee County prosecutors have started a John Doe investigation in which prosecutors can compel testimony and subpoena documents without public knowledge. The civilian Fire and Police Commission and the department’s internal affairs division are reviewing complaints dating back a couple of years. The FBI and the U.S. attorney’s office are closely monitoring the local investigation. If federal authorities are not satisfied with the outcome, they could launch their own investigation, as they did after the 2004 beating of Frank Jude Jr. by off-duty officers. Three officers were acquitted in state court; those three and four others were convicted in federal court. In total, at least 13 former Milwaukee officers have been convicted of federal crimes since 2005.