Gang of real-life ‘Punishers’ are kind of d*cks

I’m a little burnt out on all the ‘real-life superhero’ stories going around, because the line between ‘real-life superhero’ and ‘LARP enthusiast’ tends to be blurry.  Nonetheless, this story about a gang of Milwaukee police officers inspired by Punisher has something more: RACISM AND EXTREME VIOLENCE.

[The group is] suspected of being responsible for beating up one Frank Jude, Jr. Jude was accused of stealing a wallet with a police badge in it from an off-duty police party six-and-a-half years ago. He was beaten up by drunk police officers, and repeatedly kicked in the head and groin, his clothes cut off, pens rammed in his ears and threatened with a knife and a gun. He stated that the officers used racial slurs. And no badge was found.

After a newspaper investigation by the Journal Sentinel, three officers were charged but acquitted. They were then later charged in federal court with civil rights violations along with four other officers, all of whom were then convicted.

Shortly after the beating a Milwaukee Police Department commander investigated a suspected rogue group of officers known as “the Punishers,” who wore black gloves and caps embossed with skull emblems while on patrol, according to newly released documents.

Capt. James Galezewski wrote in 2007, “This is a group of rogue officers within our agency who I would characterize as brutal and abusive.”

Galezewski wrote that several of the officers who beat Jude were associated with the group. Some had Punisher skull stickers on their cars, lockers and memo books. Andrew Spengler, who was convicted of beating Jude, had a Punisher skull with the number “7″ on his truck. Jon Bartlett, who also was convicted, had a Punisher tattoo. Bartlett was also convicted of trying to buy an assault-style rifle similar to the one used by the comic character while he was out on bail – a violation of federal law. [via BleedingCool]

Why am I not surprised that a group of cops’ idea of vigilantism was kicking a guy in the nuts while calling him the N-word?

“Help, someone stole my wallet!”

“It was probably the black guy!”