Strip Search Scandal

Civil rights attorney claims 4 MPD officers getting preferential treatment

CREATED Oct 10, 2012 - UPDATED: Oct 10, 2012

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MILWAUKEE- We're learning more about the four Milwaukee police officers who were charged in the illegal strip search investigation.

Officer Michael Vagnini faces a variety of charges -- including sexual assault.  Officers Jeffrey Dollhop, Brian Kozelek and Jacob Knight also face charges in this case.

At the end of their court appearance Tuesday, those four officers filed directly out of court.  They were released without ever spending time in custody, or paying bail.  

Jonathan Safran represents two of the men who say they were assaulted by police.  He says the officers are getting special treatment.

"I guess I'm rather surprised that there isn't any bond or bail that was required for them," says Safran.  "If most people were charged with a crime, I suspect there would be some bail or bond.  Certainly for a felony it would be unusual to only have a personal recognizance bond or something like that."

Attorneys for the officers say their clients did not have to pay bond, because they are not considered a flight risk, or a danger to the community.

That's something Safran isn't so sure about.

"I guess I would consider at least some of these officers, if not all, a potential risk to the community based upon the things that have been done."

But, Milwaukee County Chief Deputy District Attorney Kent Lovern says bond is used to secure future court appearances.  And since police officers are required, as a condition of their employment, to appear in court -- no bond was needed.

Safran says this isn't fair, especially to his clients.  The alleged victims in this case did have to spend some time behind bars after their arrests.

"Well, they know what happened to them," says Safran.  "They were arrested and they were put in jail.   So they didn't have that same opportunity."

Safran also pointed out all of the officers charged with beating Frank Jude Jr. back in 2006 had to post bond.