Serving a life sentence for murder, a lawsuit he's filed against a police officer will move forward
KENOSHA (WITI) -- Accusations of police brutality in Kenosha -- and the officer accused killed a man one year after the alleged incident. The person making the accusations? He's serving a life sentence.
It was nearly 11 years ago -- in October of 2003. Kenosha police officer Alberto Gonzales broke Julian Miller's jaw. Gonzales says it was an accident. Miller says it wasn't.
Since that happened, both men have been involved in separate, high-profile deadly incidents.
The October 2003 incident began on Kenosha's north side. Court records show Julian Miller stopped at a gas station after a night of drinking and smoking marijuana.
Kenosha police officer Alberto Gonzales was investigating a stabbing that happened about two blocks away. Gonzales asked Miller if he'd seen anything, and Miller, who was on probation and had been driving drunk, took off.
Miller ran from the gas station to 44th Street -- the block where officers were investigating that stabbing. Miller saw an officer, got scared, jumped a chain link fence and then got trapped in a yard.
That's where another officer ordered Miller to the ground at gunpoint.
Court records say Gonzales jumped the chain link fence and landed directly on Miller's head -- breaking his left jaw. Gonzales maintains the yard was dark, and he didn't see Miller.
Miller says he told Gonzales "you ain't have to break my jaw." In response, Gonzales said "I told you not to run."
One year later, Gonzales shot and killed Michael Bell Jr. That shooting led to a nearly $2 million settlement between Bell's family and the city of Kenosha.
In 2009, Miller found himself in police custody -- on far more serious charges. He was accused and later convicted of killing Robbie Wilde, a cook at Shirl's Custard stand.
While in jail, awaiting trial, Miller filed a lawsuit against Gonzales.
A district court judge dismissed the case in 2011, and later that year, Miller was sentenced to life in prison.
Last month, a federal appeals court vacated the initial ruling in Gonzales' favor, and the case has now been allowed to proceed.
FOX6 messages to Gonzales weren't immediately returned.
Miller is serving a life sentence at the Green Bay Correctional Institution.