Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Amateur Proctologists

Two white ex-Milwaukee police officers have been given $300 fines for their roles in a sordid string of illegal anal cavity probes inflicted on male suspects, all of whom were black.

Six months after ringleader Michael Vagnini was sentenced to just 26 months in prison for the crimes, Jeffrey Dollhopf and Brian Kozelek were given the small fine and ordered to perform 100 hours and 20 hours respectively of community service.

A fourth officer, Jacob Knight, took a plea deal in which he agreed to resign from the department and was sentenced to 20 days in jail, 60 hours of community service and a $300 fine.

The assaults happened over two years, and the stories are strikingly similar: The men allege that Vagnini stopped them, placed his hand down their pants and probed their anus or shifted their genitals, saying he was looking for drugs.

One victim said that an officer put a gun to his head while Vagnini administered a choke hold, touched his scrotum and put his fingers in his anus. Another man was probed so violently that he bled.

Wisconsin law specifically prohibits police officers from administering cavity searches. Only medical professionals may do so, and only when authorized by a warrant.  Vagnini even conducted the illegal search a 15-year-old boy, touching his anus and genitals during a traffic stop in December of 2011.

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