Police Abuse

Meet Michael Vagnini, the Milwaukee Cop Charged With Illegally Fingering Suspects' Rectums

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Pictured at right is Michael Vagnini, the Milwaukee Police Department officer facing charges for aggressively fingering suspects' anuses. At gunpoint. Until they bled.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Vagnini and three others are facing criminal charges stemming from a series of illegal rectal searches Vagnini vigorously conducted between February 2010 and February 2012. "Vagnini is alleged to have performed all of the searches," the paper reports. "The three other officers are accused of witnessing Vagnini's actions and not stopping them or reporting them to a supervisor." A total of 32 of their police colleagues testified against the four men. How ethical of them to wait only two years to speak up!

Here's a brief rundown of Vagnini's exploits:

In one case, a man had gone to check on his aunt's house in the 3500 block of N. 10th St. When he came outside, his vehicle was surrounded by squad cars. Vagnini put his bare hand down the man's pants, touched his scrotum and inserted fingers into his anus, the complaint says. When the man pulled away, Vagnini put him in a choke hold that caused him to slobber onto Vagnini's arm. Vagnini repeatedly told him to "stop resisting" as he pulled back so hard on his neck his feet almost left the ground, the man said. Two other officers held his arms and one put a gun to his head, the complaint says.

Vagnini claimed he found crack cocaine inside the man's anus, but the man insisted it "was not on him prior to the search," the complaint says.

In another search, Vagnini conducted a traffic stop near N. 12th and W. Locust streets, the complaint says. Vagnini handcuffed the driver and asked him for "the drugs." The defendant denied having drugs but actually had hidden drugs inside his anal cavity, according to the complaint.

Vagnini put the suspect in a chokehold from behind, released him and then stuck his gloved hand inside the defendant's underwear, "shoving his fingers deeply into the defendant's butt crack and possibly into the defendant's anus," the complaint says.

The man was screaming, and as a result of Vagnini's actions the man was bleeding from the anal area for several days, the complaint says.

Here is a fun fact: It is illegal in Wisconsin for a police officer to perform a cavity search, regardless of what probable cause he may have to believe that a suspect is hiding things in his cavities. Here is another fun fact: Three of the four officers charged in the investigation have official reprimands on their records for "for failure to be civil and courteous toward the public," "unsafe vehicle operation" (twice), and "failing to honor a subpoena." They were, in other words, problem cops who should have been fired or placed on desk duty ages ago.

Here is the most fun fact: The Milwaukee Police Department knew about the illegal searches for "a couple of years," but waited to do anything about them "until authorities recognized a pattern."

In accordance with Milwaukee's Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights, all four officers are on paid leave pending the outcome of an internal hearing that will occur alongside the criminal trial.

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  1. Will anything else happen?

  2. He couldn’t just become a proctologist?

    1. No fun/power if the other is willing.

      1. But…but…ASSMAN license plates!

        “One in a million shot, doc! One in a million!”

  3. He is very anal about doing thorough searches. And it’s too bad the g in Vagnini is silent (I assume).

  4. With a name like Vagnini aggressive fingering is to be expected.

    1. You would think his name would be “Anusnini”

  5. I thought Dunphy was in Seattle?

  6. He kind of looks like the douchebag cop that was in “Crash”.

  7. Great morning coffee reading, thanks.

    1. Bah. All it would be “I haven’t had breakfast/lunch/dinner, guys” or “I just had breakfast/lunch/dinner, guys” or “I just got up/I’m trying to go to sleep.”

      Anytime is a good time for a rectum fingering story.

      1. If only STEVE SMITH we’re here to appreciate it.

        1. He is always with us. Always. Never let your guard down.

          1. Or your pants…

  8. I wonder what the jackass will claim in his defense: “…the anus was micro-aggressing, I had no choice but to protect myself!”

    1. It’ll be a “looking for drugz” defense.

      1. The article said police don’t have the authority to shove anything up a person’s ass, regardless of the circumstances… that must be left to the specialists.

  9. Vagnini repeatedly told him to “stop resisting” as he pulled back so hard on his neck his feet almost left the ground

    And people probably think we’re only joking when we use that phrase.

    1. If he weren’t resisting his wouldn’t have anal bleeding. Duh.

      1. That’s right. He should have just relaxed and tried to enjoy it.

  10. They were, in other words, problem cops who should have been fired or placed on desk duty ages ago.

    Why should a problem cop be given desk duty?

    1. My thought exactly… and the three who only enjoyed watching will probably get their jobs back after an internal review.

    2. Don’t you read Dunphy comments? You can’t just fire the poor dears! Being a cop is their whole life.

  11. Here is the most fun fact: The Milwaukee Police Department knew about the illegal searches for “a couple of years,” but waited to do anything about them “until authorities recognized a pattern.”

    That’s good police work. Just like we shouldn’t start investigating murders until we recognize a pattern.

  12. Picturing a cruiser with the ASSMAN plate.

  13. “Smell my finger.”

  14. In accordance with Milwaukee’s Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights, all four officers are on paid leave pending the outcome of an internal hearing that will occur alongside the criminal trial.

    Ouch.

    1. Crack is whack.

    2. An internal sounding, belike.

  15. Judge Roberts is writing an opinion which says this is legal since it can be considered to be a tax.

    1. PENALTAX!

      Boy, I do miss the ol’ COMMERCE CLAUSE!

      1. Close.

        ANALTAX.

    2. Ha! Best line I’ve read around her in while. You should write for Leno…except all the other writers would shun you.

  16. “Fingering” makes it sound quite gentle and sexy. Here this would be a type of sexual assault. What would it be called in the States? Aside from “enhanced interrogation”, that is. Indecent assault?

    1. This is third date stuff, at the earliest.

      1. fifth base

    2. Morally, I’d call it what it is: Rape. Legally, it varies by state in nomenclature. It fits the definition of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree under Kentucky law.

      1. actually I misspoke. As the victim is under the authority of the perpetrator, which counts as a “circumstance of aggravation” in NSW at least this would be aggravated sexual assault, which has a max 20 year term

        1. In KY it is only an aggravating factor if the victim is minor or mentally incapacitated.

          (I’m looking all this up. I don’t have some extensive knowledge of sex crime laws.)

          1. I don’t have some extensive knowledge of sex crime laws

            You of all people!

            NSW has a slew of aggravating circumstances, including being in company, and if the victim has a serious physical disability. We like our rapists to pick on someone who has a sporting chance, I suppose.

    3. Depends on how your state laws are written. In Texas, ” sexual assault on exactly the same footing as forcible rape.

      A person commits an offense if the person:

      (1) intentionally or knowingly:

      (A) causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person’s consent.

      A sexual assault under Subsection (a)(1) is without the consent of the other person if:

      (1) the actor compels the other person to submit or participate by the use of physical force or violence; [or]

      (8) the actor is a public servant who coerces the other person to submit or participate;

      So, yeah, Vagnini committed three full on sexual assaults, while other officers stood and watched, and the department did nothing for two years.

      1. Oh, and this:

        Two other officers held his arms and one put a gun to his head, the complaint says.

        I believe they could be charged with sexual assault under the Texas statute as well. If you’re holding down a rape victim, or holding a gun to his/her head, I do believe you get charged the same as the guy who actually, erm, penetrates.

        1. Yes they could. That is a straight up aiding and abetting case.

          1. Not even aiding and abetting. By holding the victim down or pointing a gun at their head, these fine public servants were “coercing the other person to submit or participate’, and thus “causing the penetration of the anus”.

            By defining rape to include “causing” penetration, rather than “penetrating”, the offense sweeps in everyone who participates.

            They are primary offenders, not accessories.

    4. Fifth base?

  17. So we can expect to hear that he has registered as a sex offender as well, right??

    1. I’m assume that once all the hoopla dies down they’ll accept some plea deal that doesn’t involve any jail time or sex crime, before going back to work at a different department.

      1. Don’t forget that this rapist will get a raise.

  18. Your post says “pictured at left” but on my browser the pic is to the right.

    *slap*

    What side was that, Private Pyle?

    1. It’s Chrome’s fault.

    2. Alternately, it’s his left, you know, from inside the screen.

  19. His defense will be that he saw the anus make a furtive gesture.

    1. And/or that he wasn’t specifically trained to obey the law prohibiting exactly what he did, or to refrain from raping suspects during the course of an investigation.

      1. Nobody ever told them they couldn’t stick their fingers up a suspect’s ass. Failure to supervise and train!

  20. One question:

    Were the perps convicted? If so, those convictions should be overturned, as they were based on illegally obtained evidence which should be inadmissible.

    And, of course, they should file civil suits against the city and against Officer Vajayjay. I don’t believe you get sovereign immunity for actual crimes you commit.

    1. Clearly this all stems from his being called exactly that in junior high. IOW, he’s the real victim in all this.

  21. Milwaukee’s Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights

    They get paid vacations for committing crimes and we get the bill.

    Must be nice.

    1. They get paid vacations for committing crimes and we get the bill.

      Hey man!! Raping isn’t easy. Quit bitching. Not every one can be a Steve Smith. You expect pigs to rape for free? What are you? Some kind of pinko hippie?

  22. Did he transfer from the TSA?

  23. This guy needs to be on a list. He clearly gets off on forcibly sticking his finger up people’s ass. That would make him a violent sex offender.

    1. This guy needs to be on a list

      Oh, they’ll be on lists. The list of candidates for Officer of the Year. It’s kind of like what you have to do to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

      1. I wouldn’t mind seeing all of them on a list of people who were executed by firing squad for abusing the power.

  24. Sadly I do not believe that there is a single police officer in America who would have intervened if they saw this happening.

    Not one.

    That’s law enforcement for you.

    1. C’mon, sarc. You’re being unfair.

      Officers intervened in this very case. By holding the victim down and putting a gun to his head.

      Now, if you mean, intervene on the side of the victim, well, that’s different.

    2. Indeed. Of the hundreds of cops gone wild videos I’ve seen, I’ve yet to see one where a cop takes ANY action to stop another cop from beating or killing someone else, much less do something crazy like arrest them.

      I mean, not one video where some cop is on some psycho power trip shoving, hitting, threatening someone else and the other cop(s) on the scene step in and pull the lunatic back? We don’t even read about it when stories of brutality come in.

      The other cops can be counted on to stand there and watch, violently restrain the victim if he resists of responds to the assault in anyway, and fill out paperwork that runs the range from careful use of passive language that blurs the story to outright professional quality fiction in favor of the abusive officer.

  25. This story also shows how horribly sexist society is. If he had done this to a women, he would have been charged with rape pretty much that day, cop or no. But anally raping men is something funny. So we will just give him a slap on the wrist. Sick.

  26. Please Gary, I’m not a police officer, I’m not going to finger your anus, and my time is extremely valuable

    1. Spottswoo, er….Spottsanus(e)!!

      “But then you got your assholes, Chuck. And all the assholes want us to shit all over everything!”

  27. “They were, in other words, problem cops who should have been fired or placed on desk duty executed and left in a dumpster ages ago.”

  28. I would do whatever it took to stop a cop from sexually assaulting me or anyone else. If that means shooting and possibly killing him, then yes, I would do that. If the other officers went for their guns, I would have no choice (personal safety and all) but to shoot them too. I wouldn’t take it and I wouldn’t stand by while it happened to someone else.

    It’s because of this that I’m sort of glad (in a selfish way) that I haven’t been near or around any cop that did something like this.

  29. Ya’ll forgot to light the Dunphy Signal.

  30. The cop union breeds these beasts.

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