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Court Tosses Defamation Claim Against Magazine

(CN) - A former police union president is unable to demand a retraction from a Milwaukee Magazine because he asked a third party to prove his case, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals ruled.

Bradley DeBraska Sr. sued the publication over an article called "See No Evil: We may never heal the wound to the community caused by the Frank Jude case."

The article alleged that DeBraska had conspired with police officers to cover up the beating of suspect Jude.

DeBraska asked the magazine for a retraction. His letter included the following statement: "I requested the Chief of Police to provide you with truthful and accurate information to assist you in your retraction and apology if you so choose."

Milwaukee Magazine issued a retraction, but DeBraska said it was not satisfactory. He sued for compensatory and punitive damages.

The trial court denied the plaintiff's motion for judgment on the pleadings, but Judge Curley ruled that the case should be dismissed.

"Because DeBraska's notice failed to include a statement of what he claimed to be true facts," Curley wrote, "we do not need to address whether his statement was further deficient because it failed to specify the statements he contends are false."

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