Raw video

Chief Flynn urges strip search victims to come forward

CREATED Mar 22, 2012 - UPDATED: Mar 23, 2012

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  • Video by wtmj.com

  • Chief Edward Flynn publicly addressed the murders for the first time Sunday.

Click on the video link to see the raw press conference by Police Chief Flynn

MILWAUKEE- Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn, at a news conference at the District 5 station Thursday, urged people who feel they might have been subject to illegal strip searches by Milwaukee police officers to come forward.

Flynn confirmed that he had reassigned seven officers and a sergeant from that district to administrative duty pending an outcome into an investigation into possible violations of department search policies.

If true, Flynn said, some of the offenses might violate state laws regarding strip searches.

Flynn said the MPD Professional Performance Division is investigating the complaints and is seeking additional information from other witnesses to illegal strip searches.

Flynn asks that anyone that has any additional information on these complaints can call:

MPD Professional Performance Division: 935-7939
Milwaukee Fire & Police Commission: 286-5000
Milwaukee County District Attorney: 278-4646

According to Flynn, he reassigned the officers for two reasons.  "If the allegations are in fact sustained, we cannot send a message to officers that that conduct is condoned," said Flynn.  "The second reason I did this was for the safety of these officers."

Flynn said those officers can't be looking over their own shoulder while under going an internal investigation.

"I promise you if the investigation reveals that these allegations are not sustainable we'll stand behind the results of that investigation.  If on the other hand these allegations are sustained by an investigation, the reputation of the department demands proper accountability," said Flynn.

A department source identified the officers as assigned to District 5.

Sources tell TODAY'S TMJ4 say officers with a special gang unit were performing illegal searches -- including cavity searches -- on suspects.