In one case, an officer held a gun to a mans head as two others held his arms and a third put him in a choke hold while jamming a hand into his anus, purportedly searching for evidence, according to the criminal complaint. Another man bled from his rectum for several days after his encounter with police, the complaint says.
The complaint lays out in graphic detail how the primary suspect, officer Michael Vagnini, conducted searches of suspects anal and scrotal areas, often inserting his fingers into their rectums. Vagnini acknowledged performing one of the searches. At least one suspect said Vagnini planted drugs on him.
State law and police procedures prohibit officers from ever conducting cavity searches. Only medical personnel are allowed to perform them, and police must first obtain a search warrant.
The charges are the latest blow to Chief Edward Flynn and his department, already under fire for the in-custody death of Derek Williams, detaining the mother of a murdered boy and reporting inaccurate crime statistics to the FBI and the public.