News| Race In America | Ex-Cops Cleared in Brutal Beating

News| Race In America | Ex-Cops Cleared in Brutal Beating

Published February 11, 2008

Posted April 18, 2006 – After more than 26 hours of deliberation, an all-White jury came back with not-guilty verdicts for three White police officers accused of viciously beating a biracial Milwaukee man.

When the verdict was read, gasps rang out in the courtroom and some observers burst into tears, The Associated Press reported. The announcement hit a community already in distress with the news two days earlier that two Black boys were found dead in a Milwaukee creek.

The defendants, former Milwaukee Police officers Daniel Masarik, Andrew Spengler and Jon Bartlett showed no emotion.

The three ex-cops are accused of kicking and punching Frank Jude Jr.,  on Oct. 24, 2004, saying he had stolen a badge from one of the officers at a party. 

The injuries he sustained to his faces were so bad that he required reconstructive surgery, according to family.

Masarik and Spengler, both 26-years-old, were acquitted of all charges Friday.  Bartlett, 34,  was cleared of one charge, second-degree recklessly endangering safety, but the jury deadlocked on a second charge of substantial battery.

The three former officers were among nine officers fired as a result of the beating. Witnesses said they heard someone call Jude and a Black friend racial slurs during the assault, AP reported.

"I was numb. It was like `Mississippi Burning' all over again," said Jude's aunt, Doris Porter Jude.

In mid-February, 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson died following a beating by White sheriff's deputies at the Panama City boot camp in Florida.  A surveillance videotape released to the famly of the boy showed several officers punching and kicking the boy until he collapsed.

And in December of last year, two White New Orleans Police officers were fired, and a third officer was suspended for  pummeling a Black retired teacher. That beating was also caught on tape.

Are you sometimes afraid that the police will stop and attack you when you are completely innocent, or not?  Click "Discuss Now" to post your comment.

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Written by BET-Staff


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