Lawsuit Filed Against Former Milwaukee Police Officer Michael Vagnini

People’s Law Office Files Lawsuit Against Former Milwaukee Police Officer Michael Vagnini for Illegal Strip Searches and Body Cavity Searches

Simultaneous to the outrageous decision orchestrated by the prosecutor in Ferguson, Missouri, Attorneys Flint Taylor and Ben Elson from the People’s Law Office and Attorney Robin Shellow of The Shellow Group have filed a wide-ranging body cavity search lawsuit against convicted felon and former Milwaukee Police officer Michael Vagnini, as well as his crew of outlaw District 5 officers.

For the first time, this publicly documents the policies and practices of the MPD and its police chiefs, particularly Chief Ed Flynn, that have resulted in the more than 75 documented illegal body cavity and strip searches of African-Americans from 2007 to 2012.

The suit, which was brought on behalf of four innocent African-American young men, alleges 10 separate incidents of body cavity searches committed by Michael Vagnini and his unit, under the direct supervision of disgraced former MPD sergeant Jason Mucha, from 2008 through 2011, and includes the following newly discovered evidence:

  • While working for the West Allis police Department, Vagnini verbally abused and sexually assaulted a female West Allis Police Officer
  • the MPD had access to the investigation of this incident, including several eyewitness accounts, yet hired him anyway;
  • as early as September of   2007 high MPD officials knew of Vagnini’s illegal body cavity searches and did nothing about it
  • While an MPD officer, Vagnini used sexually derogatory language towards a black female county sheriff’s officer
  • Vagnini’s off duty conduct with fellow officers, including drunken parties, led Alderman Dudzik to forward a citizen’s anonymous complaint to Assistant Chief Strunk, warning of another Frank Jude case
  • Vagnini was identified by the MPD as one of the top six repeater cops with regard to execssive force

In the harsh light of the systemic failure to do justice in Ferguson, it is long past due for the City and Chief Flynn to recognize and remedy the systemic failures within the MPD, as so extensively detailed in the complaint filed today, that resulted in the pattern and practice of illegal body cavity and strip searches, as well as the brutal beating of Frank Jude, the senseless death of Derek Williams, and the brutal slaying the unarmed Dontre Hamilton.