Attorneys schedule Tuesday morning press conference to discuss MPD body cavity search cases

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Flint Taylor with the People’s Law Office in Chicago, and Milwaukee attorney Robin Shellow have planned a press conference scheduled for Tuesday morning, November 25th to discuss the current status of the Milwaukee Police Department body cavity search cases.

In particular, it appears the press conference will focus on Michael Vagnini — the former MPD officer sentenced to 26 months in prison for illegal strip and body cavity searches on dozens of drug suspects.

Vagnini was sentenced in June 2013 on one misdemeanor charge of illegal body cavity search, three misdemeanor counts of illegal strip search, and four felony misconduct in office charges.

In a statement to FOX6 News, Robin Shellow says the following items will be discussed during Tuesday’s press conference — scheduled for 9:45 a.m.:

  • The current status of the MPD body cavity search cases.
  • The attorneys’ filing of a new lawsuit that alleges multiple illegal searches by Vagnini.
  • The powerful new documentary evidence that has been uncovered concerning Vagnini’s sexual misconduct.
  • The city’s knowledge of this evidence before and while Vagnini was a Milwaukee police officer.
  • The relationship of the illegal search cases and MPD’s reaction in response thereto to other notorious cases of police brutality in Milwaukee, in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the nation.

Flint Taylor and Robin Shellow this past July announced a federal lawsuit against the Milwaukee Police Department — distributing a large stack of documents they say show a pattern of illegal strip searches involving Milwaukee police officers.

The federal lawsuit pointed to 62 strip searches occurring between 2007 and 2012 — and attorneys said all of the victims were African-American, and all of the officers involved were white.

The lawsuit alleges MPD and its chain of command knew about and were responsible for dozens of illegal searches or body cavity searches over a four-year span — including criminal allegations filed against Vagnini and three other officers.

The other three officers criminally charged include:

  • 36-year-old Brian Kozelek
  • 43-year-old Jeffrey Dollhopf
  • 34-year-old Jacob Knight

Kozelek and Dollhopf each pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge. Both were ordered to pay a $300 fine plus court costs, and complete 20 hours of community service.

Knight pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor illegal body cavity search charge. He was ordered to serve 20 days in the House of Correction (with Huber release privileges), perform 60 hours of community service, and pay a $300 fine plus court costs. A felony misconduct in office charge was dismissed.

Monitor FOX6 News and for updates on this developing story.

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