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More than 17 years in prison await former police officer for beating of biracial man

A former police officer got more than 17 years in prison for the beating of a biracial man.

A judge also sentenced Jon Bartlett, 36, to three years supervision and ordered him to pay $16,365 (11,103 EUR) in restitution.

Bartlett was convicted with two other former officers of taking part in the beating of Frank Jude Jr. outside a party in 2004.

The other two former officers, Daniel Masarik, 27, and Andrew Spengler, 28, were scheduled to be sentenced later Thursday.

Bartlett apologized to Jude in court Thursday, but he stood by his claim that he had to deal with an unruly suspect.

A federal jury determined in July that the three violated Jude's civil rights and conspired to assault him while acting as officers. Officer Ryan Packard was acquitted of federal charges.

The trial is the second round in a case that has haunted Milwaukee. The three men were acquitted of most state charges by an all-white jury in 2006, angering the community. U.S. authorities filed the civil rights charges six months later.

In the days after the state trial, black and white residents, including the mayor, expressed their outrage at community meetings. Up to 2,000 people marched from the Milwaukee County courthouse to the federal courthouse.

Jude, 29, said the confrontation began as he was leaving the party, when a group of men surrounded his truck and dragged him out, accusing him of taking Spengler's police badge.

He said the attackers kicked and punched him, put a knife to his throat and jammed a pen in his ears as he begged for mercy. Jude said he heard Spengler call him a racial slur.

No badge was ever found.

"They came close to killing Mr. Jude," said his attorney, Jonathan Safran. "They caused him serious permanent physical injuries and mental injuries he and his family will have to deal with the rest of their lives."

The police department disciplined 13 officers after the beating, including nine who were fired. Two of the fired officers won back their jobs, including Packard after a 20-day suspension.

Four others have pleaded guilty to similar federal charges. One has been sentenced to two years in prison and another a year in prison.

Two others are scheduled for sentencing Dec. 6.

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