Local clergy members, civil rights leaders want Chief Flynn out of office
MILWAUKEE- Several religious and community leaders, during a private meeting on the city's north side Wednesday night, asked for Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn to resign or be fired
Those leaders are furious with the police department's handling of the Derek Williams case and the circumstances surrounding the man's death.
"No citizen, regardless of why he's in custody and in control of a police officer should have any reason to fear for his life," says J.W. Spear of Milwaukee Friends Meeting.
Flynn asked an inspector to arrange the meeting near N. 7th and W. Cherry Streets, and away from the public eye. In it, around 30 people named their concerns. Some listed demands of the department, including: Flynn's removal, the firings of the officers involved, and the release of radio traffic and information regarding the case.
"He completely avoided that conversation, had no interest in engaging in that," says Rev. Steve Jerbi of All Peoples Church.
After the meeting, Flynn told reporters he's keeping quiet on the Derek Williams case as investigations play out. Though he doesn't remember when he first saw the dashcam video, he addressed questions on the timing of its release.
"That video was viewed by an assistant district attorney the night of the incident in the in-squad camera. That video was shared with the family in September of 2011, and their lawyers," explained Flynn.
He maintains he released the video days after getting the families consent.
Either way, that group of people wants Flynn out of his job.
"Significant changes in command and control organizations occur when the command is changed, and we think it's time for a change in command," says Spear.
"They think they can accomplish that, they're welcome to try, but I'm not going anywhere," says Flynn.
Those groups wants to meet with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, along with other city and county leaders. They were quick to point out they do appreciate the job some officers are doing, but they'd be happier if someone else was leading the charge.