Milwaukee cop won’t be charged despite video proving she lied about seeing illegal strip searches
Six Milwaukee police officers who were being investigated for obstructing an inquiry into illegal cavity searches will not be facing charges, The Journal Sentinel reports.
Last month, a jury awarded Leo Hardy more than half a million dollars after it determined that Officers Michael Gasser and Keith Garland Jr. “maliciously,” and with “reckless disregard” for his Hardy’s civil rights, subjected him to an illegal strip and cavity search.
However, that verdict hinged not on the manner in which the search was performed — it was rendered because the officers lacked probable cause to initiate the search in the first place.
It is but the first of over 60 such cases against the Milwaukee police currently in the works.
In the latest related investigation, Officer Stephanie Seitz told investigators that she had not witnessed any of the alleged searches, even though in one of the videos obtained by the prosecution, she can clearly be seen standing a few feet away from an illegal strip and cavity search.
When prosecutors discovered this video that contradicted her sworn testimony, they initiated a perjury investigation. The prosecutor’s office determined that she had been “clearly untruthful” when she claimed not to have seen a fellow officer remove drugs from a man’s rectal cavity.
Police spokespeople said that the video alone — in which she can be seen “looking directly at” another officer as he performed an illegal search — was not enough evidence to prove that her lying hampered the department’s investigations into the strip and cavity searches, however.
Watch video of some of these searches obtained by The Journal Sentinel below.