News| Race In America | Almost 3,000 Protest Verdict for Milwaukee Cops

News| Race In America | Almost 3,000 Protest Verdict for Milwaukee Cops

Published February 11, 2008

 Posted April 20, 2006 – An estimated 3,000 protestors, shouting "No Justice, No Peace!" marched from the Milwaukee County Courthouse to the federal courthouse Wednesday, demanding that the U.S. government step in to retry two White police officers who were cleared in the brutal beating of a biracial man.

Milwaukee's African American community, still reeling from Saturday's tragic news that two Milwaukee boys were found floating in creek after missing for almost a month, expressed their most recent grief by pouring onto Milwaukee's streets to make sure their voices were heard. (The drowning of the boys was accidental.)

''We're here today for our future," Brian Verdin, a spokesman for the group "Justice for Jude, Justice for All" told the crowd.  "Our children should not have to look into the future and see that this is what happens at the hands of the Milwaukee Police Department,'' he yelled as he held up a picture of Frank Jude Jr., taken after he was beaten by Milwaukee Police officers.

Officers Andrew Spengler, Daniel Masarik and John Bartlett were accused of beating Jude, 27, in October 2004 because they said they thought he had stolen a police badge at a party they were attending.

Jude, pictured in the small picture to the left, was beaten so badly that he needed reconstructive surgery, his family said.

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

Nine officers in connection with the beating were fired. Two of those officers won back their jobs.  Three on-duty officers were suspended and one was demoted.

Demonstrators called on the U.S. Attorney's office Wednesday to file federal civil rights charges in the beating of Jude, The Associated Press reported.

But it could take months to determine whether anyone involved in the beating broke federal civil rights or obstruction of justice laws, U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic said.

Do you think police broke federal civil rights or obstruction of justice laws? Click “Discuss Now” to post your comment.

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Written by BET-Staff


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