Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee


Frank Jude verdict is pathetic

The Milwaukee police officers charged with the vicious beating of Frank Jude, Jr. in 2004 were all acquitted by a jury on Friday.

In short, I'm shocked that the verdict came down like this. I find it ironic that during the period of time when two young boys were missing, the police were aggressively pushing residents to come forward with any information they had on the incident. Evidently, there's a double standard at the MPD where you don't dare turn in your fellow officers when they commit such a terrible wrong.

Mayor Tom Barrett was outraged as well, and says he plans to pursue federal charges on the matter.


At 4/15/2006 01:47:00 PM, Anonymous Meghan said...

I caught the live coverage last night before going to bed and was dumbfounded when the jury came back with "Not Guilty" verdicts. I was nauseous, ashamed to be a tax paying resident of Bay View.

Throughout the trail, no defendant challenged the fact that Jude had been so badly beaten. Their argument instead was, "I guess it happened, but it wasn't me."

How could this happen? How could the jury listen to testimony of the first officer on the scene that awful night and not believe what she had to say? This brave woman broke the code of silence, and paid for it when she called for backup one night while on duty, and no one responded. She put up with continuous harrassment, and in the end, all of her efforts were for nothing.

This city has serious problems embedded in its institutions of power. I honestly don't know how he Police & Fire Commission can sleep at night.

In my mind, this is just one more reason it's time to move away from this hellish "Great city on a Great Lake."

At 4/15/2006 06:19:00 PM, Anonymous Crash said...

I'm right there with Meghan, except for the moving away. This city rocks la casa, and it will only continue to if the people demand it. I think the Mayor deserves props for doing what's right here, and we should vocally back him up. Was speaking to visitors from out of state who were afraid to go to the Safe House for fear of potential mayhem, a la LA riots. Dammit, we can make this work, if only we work at it.

At 4/15/2006 06:35:00 PM, Blogger cambridgeJason said...

Back in the day, I once dated what would be the future wife (excuse me, ex-wife) of officer Bartlett. It makes me feel rather dirty knowing that I share something in common with that pathetic loser.

This verdict makes me sick. I, er Frank Jude, deserves better.

At 4/16/2006 12:41:00 PM, Anonymous Meghan said...

I have a couple of questions about the case. Any info folks have out there would be appreciated:

1) Gerry Boyle said in a statement to the press that that the defense did not "strike" a single African-American juror from the case throughout the selection process. Is there any way to find out if this statement can be confirmed?

2) Gerry Boyle also stated that the number of African-Americans in the jury pool was uncommonly low. I am wondering how jury pools are actually selected. I understand that the process is supposed to be random, but my question is, how are people identified to be selected for a jury pool? Are people randomly selected by their listed address? It would seem that, in a city as segregated as Milwaukee is, one could accurately predict the race of a person based on the area of the city in which they live, and could potentially manipulate who gets called to jury duty. Am I being too paranoid here? Does anyone out there know the system/process for jury selection in this city?

All I can say is, "Bring in the Feds!" Let them take a look inside the Milwaukee Police Department and expose the system/parts of the system that reward and overlook wrongdoing. I have a feeling that a serious scandal will hit this city over the Frank Jude case. What happened in this case just doesn't make any reasonable sense. My only hope is that this scandal will bring about positive change in a city that's so divided.

At 4/17/2006 08:54:00 AM, Anonymous Stacie said...

I'd like to actually look at a transcript of the testimony (I didn't follow CourtTV or anything) -- I'd be interested to see if there really is a good reason (other than racism) that the jury voted the way it did.

Under our current judicial system, juries aren't asked to vote on whether they think the defendant(s) are guilty or not -- they're asked to vote on whether the evidence proves, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant is guilty. There's a difference. In other, way oversimplifying, words -- a juror following the instructions couldn't vote "guilty" because of gut feelings or what the press said (although many jurors do anyway). He or she could only vote guilty if the prosecution made a better case than the defense (again, way oversimplifying, but hopefully you know what I mean).

Of COURSE these officers were guilty. But did the prosecution make a good enough case to overcome the defense? That's the only reasonable explanation I can think of.

(I admit I'm not holding my breath on that, though.)

I do think Meghan has a good point and a good hope -- that perhaps this scandal will lead to more positive changes.

At 4/18/2006 05:08:00 PM, Blogger Blurondo said...

The individuals called for jury duty in Milwaukee County are taken from a list of people holding Wisconsin State drivers licenses.
The seriousness that a jury approaches its duty to render a verdict can not be underestimated. This jury struggled for days trying to untangle a confusing array of evidence. I am firmly convinced that they did their very best to deliver verdicts that they truly believed were supported by the evidence and the instructions given by the court. The real story is that the world knows that the three defendants were guilty and that that fact will follow them for the rest of their lives.

At 4/19/2006 03:32:00 AM, Anonymous Ben said...

The real story is a Prosecutor has to find a way of making a conviction stick.

A man beats another man and it's a crime against an individual. A cop beats a man and it's a crime against society.

No excuses.


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