Not-Guilty Verdict For Milwaukee Officers Ignites Backlash
Updated: April 18th, 2006 05:11 PM EDT
Story by themilwaukeechannel.com
The United States attorney confirmed Monday that a federal investigation is under way in the case of three former Milwaukee police officers found not guilty late Friday night.
Friday night, a jury found Jon Bartlett, Daniel Masarik and Andrew Spengler not guilty of four out five charges relating to the beating of Frank Jude Jr. in October of 2004 in Bay View. The jury was deadlocked on one count against Bartlett.
The first hint of possible federal charges in this case came almost as soon as the not guilty verdicts were read Friday night.
Milwaukee County District Attorney E. Michael McCann wasted no time in meeting with U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic to discuss federal criminal charges in the Jude beating case.
McCann did not comment after Monday's meeting, but the not guilty verdicts were just minutes old Friday night when he first discussed the possibility of federal charges.
"It's clear these officers were acting under color of law, they said they placed themselves on duty, and I believe that subjects them to federal criminal prosecution," McCann said Friday night.
Milwaukee Police Chief Nanette Hegerty also attended Monday's meeting with the U.S. attorney and the local head of the FBI.
"I believe that the U.S. attorney is going to do everything possible to determine whether or not he can prove a case, so we'll just see where it goes," Hegerty said.
The U.S. attorney gave an idea of where it goes next. Following the meeting, he issued a written statement saying that all aspects of the October 2004 incident, as well as the subsequent statement and reports, will be examined to determine if federal civil rights and obstruction of justice laws were violated.
Both Biskupic and Hegerty cautioned that the investigation would take a long time.
"It's going to take some time though, and I think the citizens of the city of Milwaukee have to realize and have to be patient because you're talking not a matter of days and weeks, you're talking a matter of months, before they're able to decide whether charges can be issued," Hegerty said.
The U.S. attorney's office and the FBI have promised to conduct the investigation as promptly and thoroughly as possible, but they will have to go through all of the trial transcripts, look for any conflicting testimony, and then conduct further investigation of their own.
They said that will take several months to complete.
The federal investigation will focus on the same three former police officers and perhaps others.
Biskupic said the review will look into all aspects of the case and will not be limited to certain individuals.
Some community groups are demanding federal charges be filed against the officers.
On the steps of St. Benedict Church, members of the group Milwaukee Inner City Congregations Allied for Hope called for change.
It asked people to pray for justice.
Members of the Milwaukee Police Accountability Coalition are also calling for federal charges.
The organization is made up of people who said they have lost loved ones at the hands of police officers.
They are urging thousands to turn out Tuesday for a protest in downtown Milwaukee.
Why is it only cops they do this to? No federal charges were filed after OJ or Michael Jackson were aquitted?
Mildly reminiscent of Alabama and Mississippi in the sixties.
People beat the state charge of murder or whatever, so then the federal government brings in charges of "violating ones' civil rights." Dangerously close to double jeopardy, it seems like.
yeah what did the cops do?
A guy got the crap kicked out of him at a party. The DA thought the fight was an illegal beating and the officers may have been the ones who did it.
The greater issue is why the disparity in federal prosecutions? When a black guy cut a white womans head off he didnt violate her federal civil rights? When a grown man transported a child acroiss state lines for purposes of sexual assault it didnt violate dfederal law? Yet in those cases the feds turned a blind eye after aquittal of state charges.
Meanwhile Ted Kennedy is a hero to some
Off duty cops have a party. One of the non-police people who attends leaves. Off duty cops go out and beat the crap out of him, put a knife to his throat, shove pens in his ears, etc in the street. Later they say it is because he stole a police badge, which never happened. Other on-duty police were called to the fight in the street and the thin blue line takes effect, as they didn't see anything happen. One of the on-duty officers testifies to what happened and has been harrassed by other officers because of it. Other "civilians" testify as to what happened, but the police are believed over them.
Basically, off-duty police officers got off with assault and a load of other crimes.
While I think they did it, I tend to agree. Unless they did it under the color of legal authority. I don't buy the notion of citizens violating the civil rights of other citizens.
They did do it under color of legal authority. One of the officers testified he put himself 'on duty' during the incident.
They've started interviewing the original jury members on the news. It sounds like the defense attorney went fishing for the dumb ones for the jury pool and got what they wanted. The illogic on emotionalism in their statements are shocking. Stuff like "I know they did it, I know other people there did it too" but no voting for convition.
Some morons who wanted to be on a jury but didn't want to be sequesterd over easter weekend. Idiots.