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Federal Lawsuit Accuses Eight Chicago Cops Of Illegal Strip Searches

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Eight Chicago Police officers face a federal lawsuit for illegal strip searches.

Three people are part of the federal lawsuit alleging eight Chicago police officers searched them illegally.

The attorney for the three people says the police apparently targeted the trio, thinking they were selling drugs.

The lawsuit says on or about May 23rd of last year, the three were stopped near 9040 S. Laflin. Their car was confronted head on by two plain clothed officers in an unmarked Chicago police car.

The lawsuit alleges that, “…an officer “pulled up” a man’s shirt…and “pulled his elastic waistband away from his body, and searched down the front of his pants,” and that, “a second man had his waistband pulled “away from his body” and was also searched down the front of his pants.”

The suit also alleges officers demanded a woman remove her pants to be searched. She told them she was menstruating.

They brought her to an alley, behind a large church, away from the street and told her to remove her female hygiene product. An officer put on gloves to search her.

“The female officer then probed around her genital area while Miss Halley was forced to endure embarrassing comments by the Chicago Police who were male,” said attorney Michael Oppenheimer. “The officers made jeering comments about her body parts, on how good she looked.”

The attorney for the three says those searches were illegal, that police should have had a warrant, and that cavity searches must be done by a medical professional.

“Most Chicago Police officers are very good. There are obviously a few bad apples and I think we’re seeing those bad apples falling from the tree,” said Oppenheimer.

Nothing illegal was found during the search. The suit also alleges one of the officers pulled a small bag of heroin, out of her own sock to say she had found it on the woman.

Chicago Police say they cannot comment on the pending litigation. The police union, the Fraternal Order of Police is also reserving comment until they’ve had a chance to study it.

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