Frank Jude Jr.: 'I'm just a victim, I'm a victim of police brutality'
Annie Scholz & Matt Montgomery
MILWAUKEE- A man savagely beaten by Milwaukee police is breaking his silence.
Frank Jude Jr. spoke following a settlement against the city of Milwaukee.
This case cast a shadow over the Milwaukee police department for years. With the $2 million settlement, Jude Jr. says he wants to move on.
Frank Jude Jr. addressed the public for the first time Tuesday about the brutal beating he suffered at the hands of several off duty police officers at a house party in Bay View back in 2004.
"I'm just a victim, I'm a victim of police brutality," said Jude Jr. "I still have to deal with PTSD. I still have to take medication all my life. I'm not the same guy I was before."
A neighbor, Andy Czerwinski, saw it all through his window. "I saw them when they threw him in like a paddy wagon and everything, and they stuck a pen in his ear and everything. I saw everything."
Czerwinski remembers two of the officers, Jon Bartlett and Andrew Spengler, angry. They were in plain clothes and accusing Jude Jr. of stealing a police badge that was never found. "They were all beating him up," said Czerwinski. After what he saw, Czerwinski believes Jude Jr. is entitled to every bit of the $2 million settlement. "I think it's good, I think it is. He deserves what he got," said Czerwinski.
As for Jude Jr., he wants to put it all in the past -- saying this would be the only time he'd talk about it. "I'm doing good. I'm doing great. I'm just trying to live my life and move on with my life," said Jude Jr.
Of the officers charged with federal crimes, only one was acquitted, Ryan Packard. The others, Jon Bartlett, Daniel Masarik and Andrew Spengler are still in prison after they were found guilty on charges of conspiracy to violate civil rights and assault under color of law. Officer Joseph Stromei pleaded guilty to federal obstruction charges, admitting he lied during state court testimony in 2006. On July 5, 2007, Ryan Lemke agreed to plead guilty to a lesser crime.
Jude no longer lives in Milwaukee.
The Milwaukee police department released a statement Tuesday about the case:
MPD has moved forward since the Frank Jude case. The Milwaukee Police Department has made considerable progress in reducing crime, fear and disorder, while at the same time, has built strong community support over the past four years. We are more assertive than ever before, as car stops and subject stops continue to increase, while at the same time, we have seen a decrease in citizen complaints, use of force, and police pursuits, which can be attributed directly to the culture change at MPD.