UPDATED: Jury orders damages in Milwaukee strip-search case

Three Milwaukee police officers accused of illegally strip-searching a man in 2012 have testified that their search was appropriate.

MGN Online

UPDATED Thursday, August 7, 2014 -- 7:57 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A federal jury has found that Milwaukee police officers violated a man's civil rights by illegally strip searching him in public.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports (http://bit.ly/1sm7PN) the jury ordered damages of more than a half million dollars.

Forty-year-old Leo Hardy of Milwaukee claimed he was illegally searched in March 2012 by Officer Michael Gasser.

Gasser claimed he did nothing wrong.

Jurors got the case Thursday and were tasked with deciding whether police had reasonable suspicion to search Hardy, and if so, whether the searches were proper.

Russell Ainsworth is one of Hardy's attorneys. He said during closing arguments that Hardy was humiliated. He asked jurors to impose monetary damages to send a message that public strip searches are wrong.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press
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UPDATED Thursday, August 7, 2014 -- 6:40 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The case of a man who claims he was illegally strip-searched by three Milwaukee police officers is in the hands of a federal jury.

Forty-year-old Leo Hardy of Milwaukee says he was illegally searched in March 2012 by Officer Michael Gasser.

Now, the jury must decide whether police had reasonable suspicion to search Hardy. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports (http://bit.ly/1sm7PNd ) if jurors find reasonable suspicion, then they must weigh whether the searches were proper.

Jurors got the case Thursday after closing arguments.

Russell Ainsworth is one of Hardy's attorneys. He says Hardy was humiliated. He asked jurors to impose monetary damages to send a message that public strip searches are wrong.

Assistant City Attorney Sue Lappen says a witness who testified she saw Hardy with his pants down was mistaken.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press
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Posted on Wednesday, August 6, 2014 -- 7:10 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Three Milwaukee police officers accused of illegally strip-searching a man in 2012 have testified that their search was appropriate.

A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report (http://bit.ly/1AVVNQu ) says two officers testified Wednesday that they stopped 40-year-old Leo Hardy because they were looking for a suspect often seen with him.

Officers Michael Gasser, Keith Garland Jr. and Michael Valuch Jr. say they patted down Hardy to search for weapons or drugs. But they denied his allegations that they grabbed his genitals, pulled down his pants or otherwise exposed nudity to public view.

One woman testified that Hardy's buttocks were clearly exposed, and another says she saw his pants around his ankles.

Closing arguments are expected Thursday.

At least 60 people have accused Milwaukee police of conducting illegal strip searches and body-cavity searches.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


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