(MADISON) Yesterday, Senator Lena C. Taylor shared concerns that local law enforcement officers were granted too broad a power to conduct strip search any person who will be detained for more than 12 hours. This bill reaches too far, it has the potential to have citizens who have no criminal records or have not even committed a criminal act, are subject to a strip search. Under this bill, even those who fail to pay forfeitures may be subject to strip searches. Although minors are excluded and touching is prohibited unless the detainee fails to cooperate, the version the Senate passed today goes much further than the more measured bill that was passed by a Senate Committee.
Taylor noted that “this bill is an invasion of privacy and a blatant disregard for some of the Constitutional rights we hold dear in the U.S., and no person who has only been arrested, but not convicted, should be denied these basic protections against unfair search and seizure. Any search, not to mention a strip search.”
“Not only is this an unstandardized process, but the bill opens the door for many ‘ifs,’” Taylor continued. “If a person is arrested on a minor traffic violation late at night they may be detained beyond 12 hours. If they are arrested on a weekend, they could be held for more than 12 hours. If a person is arrested on a holiday, they may be detained for longer than 12 hours. If a person has a fine or forfeiture and doesn’t have the means to pay, they could be detained for more than 12 hours.”
“We should be supporting legislation that helps our public safety officers conduct law enforcement responsibly and this legislation takes us in the opposite direction, violating the privacy of the citizens of Wisconsin.”