Three former Milwaukee police officers convicted in the beating of Frank Jude Jr. will spend more than 15 years in prison, says the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The sentences are some of the stiffest that have been handed down nationwide in a federal civil rights case in which the victim didn’t die. U.S. District Judge Charles Clevert said the beating outside an off-duty police party in 2004 severely undercut the public’s trust in police. “Civil rights of the people of this community must be respected, even if you carry a gun and badge, even if you are police, even if you believe someone did something wrong,” Clevert said.
Jon Bartlett, 36, received 17 years and three months. Daniel Masarik, 27, who testified he wasn’t there and according to Clevert lied under oath, got 15 years and eight months. Andrew Spengler, 28, the host of the party who Clevert said precipitated the beating and could have stopped it, received the same sentence as Masarik. U.S. Attorney Steven M. Biskupic, who called the case the most important one for the community of his 18-year career, said the sentences were among the toughest delivered anywhere in the federal courts for a similar offense. In arguing for lighter sentences, defense attorneys noted that the Los Angeles police officers convicted of beating Rodney King got 30-month terms. Spengler’s attorney said he has become a scapegoat. “The community wants Andy Spengler to pay for all the sins of the Milwaukee Police Department,” said Brian Kinstler.