The next time police bring a case of resisting arrest to the Milwaukee district attorney’s office, it’s going to get closer scrutiny than in the past – especially if the citizen who supposedly resisted is injured, writes Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Jim Stingl. District Attorney E. Michael McCann just finished prosecuting three Milwaukee officers on charges of brutalizing a man who is said to have resisted their search for a badge they believed he stole at an off-duty cop party. Jurors are deliberating today.
The district attorney has long relied on written police reports to issue charges in resisting-arrest cases. That might have to stop, McCann said. McCann felt personally wounded by the code of silence among the officers who were at a beer party in 2004 but mostly testified that they didn’t see who turned Frank Jude’s face into hamburger. “It’s just agony that it comes from the streets, through the reports and into the courtroom,” McCann said. “It corrupts justice. There’s no favorable light to cast on such a thing.” McCann has been criticized for rarely charging police who use deadly force against citizens. He didn’t hold back in his closing argument to the jury to nail these three officers for battery and endangering safety. What we have here is a coverup, he said.