This case marks another example of a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officer probing an individual’s most sensitive body parts without any basis for doing so.
On January 15, 2019, Mbalaminwe Mwimanzi was spending time at a friend’s apartment, when MPD officers knocked down the door, ordered everyone to the ground, and began executing a warrant that authorized them to search the apartment—though not its occupants—for drugs, drug paraphernalia, and related items.
Two officers searched Mr. Mwimanzi and found no contraband, weapons, or evidence of a crime. Despite these prior searches, and despite receiving confirmation from a colleague that Mr. Mwimanzi had already been checked, Officer Joshua Wilson choose to search Mr. Mwimanzi a third time. To do so, Officer Wilson pressed his hand into Mr. Mwimaniz’s buttocks hard enough to cause severe pain to Mr. Mwimanzi’s anus. Officer Wilson also pressed on Mr. Mwimanzi’s testicles and jammed them into his leg—repeating this act multiple times, even as Mr. Mwimanzi cried out in anguish. Officer Wilson didn’t find any contraband, weapons, or evidence on Mr. Mwimanzi. And none of the officers find any such items at the apartment.
The ACLU-DC has about similar incidents from many District residents and has filed three lawsuits challenging this type of conduct in the past few years alone. In Mwimanzi v. Wilson, the ACLU-DC is taking up this issue once again and, in doing so, making clear to the District that its tolerance for sexually invasive searches must end.