From [HERE] A Black man who said he was illegally searched by Milwaukee police officers has sued the city, officers and others, following dozens of such lawsuits.
Edward Wright says that then-officer Michael Vagnini performed an illegal strip and body cavity search in October 2011 after he was stopped in the 2800 block of N. Palmer St., according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.
Wright says he was near his parked truck outside his mother's house in Milwaukee after midnight when Officers Michael Vagnini, Jacob Knight, Jeffrey Cline, Gregory Kuspa and Jason Mucha stopped him and asked if he had drugs or guns.
When Wright said he did not, Vagnini allegedly accused the man of lying and began searching his truck without his consent. "After searching Mr. Wright's vehicle and finding nothing, Officer Vagnini put plastic gloves on his hands and reached inside Mr. Wright's pants, grabbing and searching Mr. Wright's genitalia; once again without Mr. Wright's consent; without probable cause; and without a reasonable basis to do so," the complaint states.
Vagnini has since pleaded no contest to eight criminal charges related to illegal body-cavity and strip searches, for which he is now only serving a 26-month sentence.
The lawsuit, one of more than 50 filed by people who said they were illegally searched by police, says that officers did not find any contraband when doing the search of Wright.
Vagnini and other officers then went to Wright's mother's house and searched it without a warrant, finding a gun that they claimed they found in Wright's car, the complaint says. Wright was charged with being a felon in possession of a gun. The case was later dropped.
The lawsuit names officers and former officers as defendants including Vagnini, who was sentenced to 26 months in prison after he pleaded no contest to sex assault charges related to the searches. Chief Edward Flynn and the city are also named as defendants.
The city is fighting the cases and has not indicated it will settle them.