Two former police officers were each sentenced to more than two years in federal prison Thursday for their roles in a racially charged attack involving a group of white off-duty officers.
The sentencings are the last of seven in a case that has haunted the city since February 2005, when the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published a front-page photo of Frank Jude Jr.’s swollen, misshapen face.
Jon Clausing pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to violate the civil rights of Jude, who is biracial, and Lovell Harris, who is black. Clausing admitted cutting Harris’ face during the conflict in which Jude was severely beaten outside another officer’s housewarming party.
Joseph Schabel admitted stomping on Jude’s head two or three times and kicking him while Jude was being held down. He had pleaded guilty to depriving Jude of his civil rights and use of intimidation.
Clausing apologized to Jude and Harris on Thursday, crying at times as he read his statement. Clausing said he didn’t recognize himself in his actions that night and would not ask Jude for forgiveness because he hasn’t forgiven himself.
Harris accepted Clausing’s apology and said, “I just hope we all learn from this.”
Judge J.P. Stadtmueller sentenced Clausing to 28 months in prison and Schabel to 32 months.
Jude said he was attacked after he and Harris accompanied two white women to the housewarming party in October 2004.
Brutal beating described
Jude and others said that as the four left the party, he was accused of taking a badge and was severely beaten. He said he was kicked and punched, a knife was put to his throat and a pen was jammed in his ears as he begged for mercy. No badge was ever found.
After three former officers were acquitted in a state trial, black and white residents, including the mayor, expressed their outrage at community meetings.
Federal prosecutors charged eight officers. Three were convicted of violating Jude’s civil rights and are serving prison terms of more than 15 years.
One officer, Ryan Packard, was acquitted, and four, including Clausing and Schabel, pleaded guilty.
The police department disciplined 13 officers after the beating, including nine who were fired.