Officers Acquitted In Milwaukee “Code Of Silence Case


After a jury acquitted three former Milwaukee police officers of severely beating Frank Jude Jr., it could have been a case of the prosecution having too few witnesses and credibility issues with their best ones, says the MJilwaukee Journal Sentinel. The strategy prosecutors used to show the “code of silence” may have left them short in a numbers game that led to the not-guilty verdicts. “It was a cover-up case,” said District Attorney E. Michael McCann, who suffered his first defeat in a felony jury trial in his 42-year prosecuting career. “We brought it right out in front of them.”

McCann presented much of the evidence through extensive, almost hostile interrogations of stonewalling police witnesses who said they never saw the defendants or anyone else beat Jude. McCann repeatedly invoked the phrase “police code of silence.” The jury may have just been keeping a ledger count that favored the defense: Six officers said one thing, two said something else. Said defense attorney Jonathan C. Smith: “The state was trying to really build this code of silence thing, but that is not evidence. You cannot convict people for what they didn’t say or didn’t see.”


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