Here’s a rare case where prosecutors are actually taking police misconduct seriously. Four Milwaukee police officers have been charged with illegal searches and sexual assault on almost a dozen men over the course of two years. The Wisconsin State Journal reports:
According to a criminal complaint, 10 men identified only by their initials told prosecutors the officers searched them between February 2010 and February 2012.
The stories are strikingly similar. They allege that Officer Michael Vagnini stopped them, placed his hand down their pants and probed their anus or shifted their genitals, saying he was looking for drugs.
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm charged Vagnini with 25 counts, including conducting an illegal strip search, misconduct in office, sexual assault and conducting an illegal body cavity search.
Chisholm also charged Jeffrey Dollhopf with conducting an illegal strip search, conducting an illegal body cavity search and two counts of misconduct in public office; Brian Kozelek with conducting an illegal strip search and misconduct in public office; and Jacob Knight with conducting an illegal body cavity search and misconduct in public office.
I wonder about two things. First, will they be convicted? Juries tend to give police officers the benefit of every doubt and ignore evidence of misconduct. Second, would the charges have been filed if the victims were women? Because that kind of thing goes on all the time.