Milwaukee police officers reassigned pending strip search investigation
Jermont Terry & Steve Chamraz
MILWAUKEE- Seven Milwaukee police officers and a supervisor have been stripped of their police powers and reassigned pending an internal investigation, Milwaukee police confirmed Wednesday.
In a statement, MPD said they have been reassigned to administrative duties and scattered across the city in different districts.
The department spokesperson said the moves were done in response to "possible policy violations" and did not identify those involved.
A department source identified the officers as assigned to District 5.
Police sources tell TODAY'S TMJ4 the investigation involves strip searches that may have been done in violation of department policy, and possibly, the involved suspects' civil rights.
Sources say officers with a special gang unit were performing illegal searches -- including cavity searches -- on suspects.
TODAY'S TMJ4 has learned a sergeant signed off on the searches, but under MPD policy, only a lieutenant or higher can agree to such procedures.
The sergeant involved, according to a department source, is Jason Mucha.
In 2007, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported 10 suspects accused Mucha of beating them or planting drugs on them.
Those allegations were never substantiated.
County and federal probes of the complaints resulted in no criminal or civil cases.
When reached by telephone Wednesday evening, Mucha refused to comment, telling a reporter to "go f--- yourself."
A lieutenant on duty at District 5 would not confirm if Mucha was still assigned to that district and referred questions about the sergeant to the MPD spokesperson.
Department spokesperson Anne E. Schwartz would not comment beyond a brief statement that the department "…will have no further comment while the matter is pending."
Neither the Milwaukee Police Association nor the Milwaukee Police Supervisors' Organization had an information about the incident or investigation.