by: Liz Artz Updated:
ATLANTA - A man who said he was illegally strip searched by Atlanta police will have his day in court.
Channel 2's Liz Artz spoke exclusively to Ricky Sampson who said he felt like he had been molested.
He said the incident occurred in 2010 outside of Atlanta's The Mall West End.
Sampson told Artz members of the police force's since-disbanded Red Dog unit illegally and publicly stripped searched him looking for drugs.
Sampson said he had just gotten his hair cut and was waiting for his girlfriend to pick him up with his daughter when he was approached by members of the unit.
He said the officers pulled his pants down and searched his "cheeks" and his "genitals."
Sampson said police found nothing and let him go. Sampson said the search made him feel like he had been violated.
Sampson told Artz for months he was scared to come forward, afraid of retaliation.
He eventually went to attorney Mark Bullman, who said a judge dropped one claim, but found enough evidence to move forward with a trial.
Bullman said the officers will be tried on charges such as battery, false arrest and punitive damages.
The city's legal department released a statement saying, "The city believes the allegations against the officers are false, and the city will continue to defend the officers at trial."
The city maintains it has ramped up training on proper search procedures and got rid of the Red Dog unit.
Sampson said getting rid of the unit is a really good thing.
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