updated 10/5/2006 6:10:15 PM ET 2006-10-05T22:10:15

A suspended police officer and a former officer agreed Thursday to plead guilty to federal civil rights charges in the 2004 beating of a biracial man that inflamed racial tensions in the city, according to government documents.

A group of white men who identified themselves as off-duty police officers kicked and punched Frank Jude Jr. outside a party at an officer’s house.

Jude, 28, said the attackers put a knife to his throat and jammed a pen in his ears as he begged for mercy. The men accused Jude of stealing a police badge, but no badge was found and he was not charged with theft.

Suspended police officer Joseph Schabel agreed to plead guilty to violating Jude’s civil rights in the attack and to obstruction of justice, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Department of Justice.

Schabel kicked Jude in the head during the party in October 2004 but denied it repeatedly in sworn statements and testimony, the complaint said.

Guilty of conspiring
Jon Clausing, a former Milwaukee police officer, agreed to plead guilty to conspiring with other off-duty officers to violate the civil rights of Jude and another man, Lovell Harris, by assaulting them at the party.

Schabel faces up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. Clausing faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The Milwaukee Police Department disciplined 13 officers after the beating. County prosecutors criminally charged three of them, but an all-white jury acquitted them of most charges in April.
Jude was imprisoned after his parole was revoked last November because of a domestic dispute with his mother.

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