Community members ask for Flynn's resignation during meeting Thursday

CREATED Oct. 4, 2012 - UPDATED: Oct. 4, 2012

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  • Cody Holyoke reports Video by wtmj.com

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MILWAUKEE-  At a meeting of the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission, a handful of community members demanded the resignation of Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn.

Mounting pressure surrounding the Derek Williams case brought angry residents to City Hall.  Many people asked for the chief's job.  Others, like Maeleen Jordan -- Williams' great aunt -- simply wanted an explanation on the way the Milwaukee Police Department handled her nephew's death.

"The whole time, he was saying, 'Sir, I can't breathe. Sir, I can't breathe,'" Jordan told Flynn, referencing the dashcam video that shows Williams gasping for air.
 
Because of meeting rules, Flynn was not allowed to respond to complaints. He has repeatedly maintained he will not step down.  He did tell reporters the Williams case shouldn't stain the reputation of the entire department.

"Officers are literally placing themselves at personal risk to protect people of every color, every background, every social class.  We're committed to continue to do that," Flynn said.

The people at the meeting told the commission they're not mad at officers who do their jobs well, but they want action.  Now.  Before the community backlash reaches a boiling point.

"We're sitting on a powderkeg with this situation.  People have empowered themselves to try to do something about the situation because they've lost faith in what their government does," said community activist Lamont Harris.

Mike Crivello, the president of the Milwaukee Police Association, voiced his support for the chief.  Residents also demanded a public meeting to further discuss the Williams case.