A disgusting scandal involving police officers performing illegal anal cavity searches with the intent to “degrade and humiliate” dozens and dozens of victims has come to an apparent conclusion, which some feel amounts to little more than a slap on the wrists for those involved.
Between February 2010 and February 2012, a small group of Milwaukee officers took part in a string of serial assaults on subjects pulled off the streets. In many cases, the officers demanded the subjects produce the drugs they assumed were being hidden somewhere on their person. When they were not satisfied with the cooperation from the subjects, an officer would jam his hand into the subject’s underpants, touch his genitals, and insert a finger into his anus on the side of the road. Some of the complaints stated that drugs were planted during these searches. At least one complainant was a juvenile, and one stated that he was fingered so hard that his anus bled afterwards.
The group’s ringleader was Milwaukee Officer Michael Vagnini, assisted primarily by three other officers; Jeffrey Dollhopf, Brian Kozelek and Jacob Knight. Although 7 officers and one supervisor were originally suspended, the four officers mentioned above were the men the district attorney felt had enough involvement to pursue legal actions against.
Officer Vagnini was the the one who directly performed the searches with his hand; the others were present and assisted with detaining the victims, holding them down, provided Vagnini cover while molested them, and then failed to report the crimes to superiors in the department.