MPD officers charged a hot topic on WMCS talk radio
MILWAUKEE -- Four Milwaukee police officers were charged Tuesday, October 9th for criminal misconduct related to illegal strip searches of individuals in the community. Victims have filed notices claiming they were illegally searched. WMCS talk radio has been fielding calls regarding the controversy surrounding the Milwaukee Police Department for several weeks now, and the calls again flooded in Tuesday once these charges were announced.
Officer Michael Vagnini faces 25 counts of violating the strip search law, misconduct in public office and second-degree sexual assault. If convicted of these crimes, Vagnini faces up to 40 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.
Officer Jeffrey Dollhopf faces two counts of violating the strip search law and two counts of misconduct in public office.
Officers Brian Kozelek and Jacob Knight each face one count of violating the strip search law and one count of misconduct in public office.
CLICK HERE to read the entire criminal complaint. WARNING: the content described in the complaint is graphic and not suitable for all readers.
As he prepared for his daily talk radio program Tuesday afternoon on AM 1290 WMCS radio, Earl Ingram shared his thoughts on the charges facing four MPD officers and allegations of illegal body cavity searches.
"It was certainly something that was long overdue. Certainly not enough to quell the sentiments of this community as it relates to Derek Williams, but at least it's something," Ingram said.
MPD has faced criticism in recent weeks as it relates to the death of 22-year-old Williams while in police custody and recently released dashcam video that has sparked outrage among community and faith leaders, as well as MPD's handling of the mother of 13-year-old Darius Simmons, who was shot to death, allegedly by his neighbor.
Some have even called for Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn to lose his job -- and for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to take action.
During Tuesday's show on WMCS, Mayor Barrett spent the first 45 minutes on the phone, responding to callers' comments and questions.
"This comes at a time when there is a lot of scrutiny of the Milwaukee Police Department and Chief Flynn," Mayor Barrett said.
Mayor Barrett has said he was one of the first calling for an investigation into Williams' death immediately following his viewing of the dashcam video showing Williams struggling to breathe in the back of an MPD squad car.
"I wanted to watch that before I went to work on Monday morning. I think before noon, I had called for an investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office," Mayor Barrett said.
Mayor Barrett said he continues to support Chief Flynn and the Milwaukee Police Department.
During Tuesday's program, there were multiple callers who said they want to see a variety of proposed reforms to the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission -- including reforming the process through which commissioners are selected.
CLICK HERE for more stories on the alleged illegal strip searches conducted by MPD officers.