Milwaukee Officers Found Guilty in Beating Case

After deliberating for 30 hours, a federal jury in Milwaukee found three former police officers guilty of beating Frank Jude Jr. and of conspiring to violate his civil rights. A suspended officer was acquitted.

Jude's beating led to the largest single-day purge in Police Department history. In May 2005, Chief Nannette Hegerty fired nine officers, suspended three and demoted one. It also prompted new hiring and training practices.

Two of the former officers will continue to be paid their salaries until they are sentenced, pursuant to a law "that requires fired officers be paid until their appeals of termination are exhausted with the Fire and Police Commission, or they are sentenced on a felony." The third former officer is already serving a sentence for making a bomb threat.

Details ...

The assaults occurred outside a house where off duty officers were having a party. The officers suspected Jude and Lovell Harris of stealing a badge. The badge was never found.

Jude was punched and kicked repeatedly in the head and body, threatened with a knife and gun, injured by objects jammed in his ears and by his fingers being yanked back, witnesses said. Jude, who is biracial, and Harris, who is black, both said their white attackers used racial slurs.

From the outset, the investigation was poorly handled. Suspect officers were allowed to talk with each other or leave the scene, and little physical evidence was collected. ... Investigators also said they ran into silence from officers who said they saw nothing.

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