Milwaukee Reaches Settlement In Police Strip Search Lawsuits

City Agrees To Pay $5M For Alleged Abuse Of African-American Residents

(vincent desjardins) (CC-BY)

The city of Milwaukee has reached a tentative deal to pay about $5 million to settle lawsuits claiming illegal body cavity and strip searches by Milwaukee police.

More than a dozen civil rights lawsuits have been pending in federal court seeking damages for 74 African-American residents who say they were illegally searched a few years ago by officers who said they were looking for drugs.

The city is agreeing to pay $2.7 million to the plaintiffs. Attorney Jonathan Safran, who represents 14 plaintiffs, said the deal is good for his clients.

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“Well, it will provide them both accountability as well as payments for some of the damages they sustained,” Safran said.

The city is also offering $2.3 million in legal fees and various costs. City attorney Grant Langley said the city has denied liability in all of the cases, and the settlement is in Milwaukee’s best interest when considering the risk of potential compensatory and punitive damages, and attorney’s fees.

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