Milwaukee Settles Racially-Tinged Body Cavity / Strip Search Suits With 74 Black Men

The Milwaukee Common Council today approved a $5 million settlement that will be divided among 74 African American young men — including a 15-year-old boy and a wheelchair-bound paraplegic — who were subjected to illegal body cavity and strip searches by Milwaukee Police as part of a wide spread and racially discriminatory pattern and practice of the MPD.

Approval of this historic settlement demonstrates that the City of Milwaukee has at last accepted its responsibility for the blatantly unconstitutional conduct of its District 5 Unit of Power Shift police officers that was led by now-convicted felon Michael Vagnini.

Attorneys for the men and several of their clients will hold a press conference to discuss in detail the meaning and ramifications of this settlement after it is finalized by the approval of the Mayor and with the signatures of the aggrieved search victims.

Attorneys Heather Lewis Donnell and Theresa Kleinhaus of Loevy and Loevy litigated the suits in conjunction with Attorney Flint Taylor of Peoples Law Office, Attorney Robin Shellow of The Shellow Group, Attorney Jon Safran, and Attorney Alex Flynn.

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If you or your property were impacted by the demolition of the smokestack at the former Crawford Coal Plant in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood in April 2020, you may be entitled to compensation from a class action settlement. You can learn more about the settlement and file a claim at www.littlevillagesmokestack.com. If you have questions, you may also contact the attorneys working on the settlement by calling (800) 244-0942.