As part of a large settlement deal involving multiple cases, Milwaukee city officials have proposed paying $5 million to 74 African-Americans who are suing the city for what they claim to be unlawful strip searches.

These strip searches and body cavity searches were conducted by police officers looking for drugs. The city stated the proposed settlement is by no means an admission of liability, but City Attorney Grant Langley said he recommends the settlement because “it’s in the city’s best interest to manage risks involved in a reasonable and responsible manner.”

The proposal has been approved by a judiciary committee and then got a final approval from the Common Council and Mayor Barrett.

In the wake of this controversial court battle, strip and body cavity searches have become a hot topic in the news. State laws and police protocol require approval from high ranking officers before any cavity or strip search is conducted.

Strip Search

Officers can pat down any suspect during an investigation, but if the officer has reason to believe the suspect is hiding weapons, drugs, or any other contraband in a private area such as inside their underwear or bra, the officer must request a strip search.

This request must be approved by a captain or an officer of higher rank. Two officers who are the same gender as the suspect, must do the search in a private location. Under no circumstances can the search be videoed.

Cavity Searches

Cavity searches have even more restrictions and regulations than strip searches. Police officers are not allowed to conduct a cavity search, only doctors are allowed to perform body cavity searches. Before the cavity search is started, the officer must get a warrant.

Strip and cavity searches must be done in the proper way. This right is granted to every American through the fourth amendment. If you think you have been the victim of any kind of unlawful search or seizure call the lawyers at Huppertz & Powers.

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