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Illegal strip searches cost Oakland taxpayers $4.6 million

Taxpayers in Oakland, Calif., will dole out $4.6 million to 39 men who were illegally strip-searched in public by police, according to reports.

The Oakland City Council approved the settlement on Tuesday night, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. 

The men, who were searched between 2002 and 2009, had sued after they had their pants pulled down in public on city streets, the newspaper reported. A year ago, a federal judge ruled the searches unconstitutional, and ordered a $1 million payout to two other men strip-searched in public.


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Council members Ignacio De La Fuente and Jane Brunner voted against the settlement, the newspaper reported. De La Fuente called it "absolutely the wrong thing to do," the newspaper said.

An attorney for the men said that the city had "finally acknowledged the wrongs done to these men," the newspaper reported.

The Oakland Police Department's strip-search policy, however, is still in question. Michael Haddad, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said that "we will have to take them back to court" unless the strip-search policy is made constitutional and lawful, the newspaper reported.