Two Milwaukee officers in custody death tied to strip-search inquiry

The Milwaukee police officer who told a suffocating Derek Williams “You’re breathing just fine” is one of at least half a dozen officers under investigation for potentially violating suspects’ civil rights through illegal strip searches in the city.

Officer Jeffrey Cline – who later told Williams, “You’re just playing games” before Williams lost consciousness in the back of a squad car and died in July 2011 – is accused of standing by while a fellow officer conducted a cavity search for drugs a month later, according to police reports and a notice of claim filed with the city.

A second officer, Gregory Kuspa, also is named in both sets of reports.

The documents tie together two of the most serious allegations against Milwaukee police in recent years and could form the cornerstone of a sweeping federal investigation into a possible pattern of civil rights abuses by the Police Department.

Via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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