New allegations of illegal strip searches by MPD officers

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Milwaukee Police Department

Milwaukee Police Department

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — There are new allegations of illegal strip searches by Milwaukee police officers. Those allegations are included in a suit filed by a woman who claims she was forced to lift up her shirt.

There were four Milwaukee police officers charged with conducting illegal cavity searches. But for the first time, we are learning that not all of the victims may be men.

Attorney Robin Shellow has filed a civil suit in federal court in which a woman says she was a victim of Milwaukee police officers.

Michael Vagnini

Michael Vagnini

In the lawsuit, the defendant claims she and her boyfriend were stopped by Officers Michael Vagnini and District 5 Police Sergeant Jason Mucha in an alley near 9th and Ring in 2012. The suit says the officers performed an illegal cavity search on the boyfriend, telling him his girlfriend was “hot.” The suit says they ask “if he had any naked pictures of that (expletive).”

The lawsuit claims the officers then demanded the female, “with no privacy, to lift her shirt up above her stomach, and to pull down her belt and open her pants.” The suit claims Officer Vagnini took a look. No drugs were found.

While Officer Vagnini is serving a 26-month sentence, Sgt. Mucha was never charged with a crime by the Milwaukee County District Attorney.

“I don’t know why the district attorney chose the officers it did. Clearly there are more officers than those who have been charged,” said Shellow. “We know now that victims were children, adults, woman, and men.”

Shellow says she has cases for 17 different clients — and promises many more lawsuits are on the way.

“The sexual molestation of our African-American citizens has to end, and has to end now,” said Shellow.

Officials with the Milwaukee Police Department say they do not comment on open litigation.

While Sgt. Mucha was not charged, it appears he is no longer with the Milwaukee Police Department. A spokesperson says they have “separated with Sgt. Mucha.”

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.