MPD officers accused of illegal strip searches have controversial records

CREATED Mar 28, 2012

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MILWAUKEE- New information about the strip search scandal involving several Milwaukee police officers.

The accused officers have been involved in controversy before.

A judge dismissed a prior criminal case involving the officers, because of the way they handled an investigation.

Video released from MPD shows eight MPD officers from District 5 approach a car, then the car pulls off and crashes into a squad car.  Then officers searched the car and driver.

That was Kim Holland's car that was smashed and searched back on March 31, 2011.  The video was used as evidence for Holland's boyfriend Steven Jones.  He was behind the wheel that night.  The eight officers arrested and recommend that Jones be charged with possession and resisting arrest.    

But the case was dismissed -- thanks to the video.

The defense attorney proved the eight officers, the same ones under internal investigation, had no reason to approach the car or search it.

The officers testified Jones tried to run over a cop with the car, but the court found the video didn't back up the officer's testimony.

Court papers show Sgt. Jason Mucha crashed his squad car into Holland's car.  Sgt. Mucha is the supervisor from District 5 who's under investigation for the strip searches and has been the subject of past investigations for planting drugs and beating suspects.  Each time, the investigations found no wrong-doing by Mucha.

Chief Flynn refused to answer questions as he headed into the recruit graduation on Wednesday afternoon.

TODAY'S TMJ4 wanted to know why the department didn't see a pattern with these officers when this case was dismissed in 2011. The chief sent out Inspector Carianne Yerkes with internal affairs to address the media.  She wouldn't talk on camera, but says this video may be key in their current investigation.

As for Holland, she insists her boyfriend's case is proof the eight officers under investigation have violated the constitutional rights of many. 

There are portions of the video TODAY'S TMJ4 did not show because it clearly shows the faces of those officers involved.  Milwaukee County assistant district attorney Kent Lovern asked that TODAY'S TMJ4 not show any faces of the officers as they try to get to the bottom of this investigation.