Petition to oust MPD Chief Flynn planned by community members

CREATED Oct 11, 2012 - UPDATED: Oct 11, 2012

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  • Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn. | Photo: TODAY'S TMJ4

  • Calls have recently come for Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn to resign or be fired. He responded to calls for his removal, saying "I'm not going anywhere." Story

  • Those calls came after a series of issues within the Milwaukee Police Department. Raw video of secret meeting

  • Among the cases that have led to this point: the death of Derek Williams in police custody. Story

  • He passed away in a case which the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner has called a homicide (a different definition than police/DA's office). Story

  • An investigation into alleged strip searches by MPD officers began in March. Special section

  • Raw video shows a controversial, aggressive drunk driving arrest by Milwaukee Police officers on Water Street. Story

  • The MPD came under recent fire for reportedly under-reporting violent crimes. Story

  • A report says that MPD officers did not break policy in how they handled the case of Darius Simmons, a 13-year-old who was shot and killed. Story

  • At a meeting of the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission, a handful of community members demanded Flynn's resignation. Story

  • Mounting pressure surrounding the Derek Williams case brought angry residents to City Hall. Many people asked for the chief's job. Story

  • Because of meeting rules, Flynn was not allowed to respond to complaints. He has repeatedly maintained he will not step down. Story

  • "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. Story

  • Now, four Milwaukee Police officers face charges in the strip search investigation. Special section

  • A federal investigation could begin in the case. Special section on MPD strip searches.

  • The officers face a combined 37 charges. One officer faces 25, including sexual assault. Special section on MPD strip searches.

MILWAUKEE - TODAY'S TMJ4 has confirmed a group of community members plan on circulating a petition to oust Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn.

Those who created the petition claim residents in Milwaukee have "no confidence" in Chief Flynn in the following six criteria:

1. "His ability to lead his department and set forth a good character example (i.e. no official reprimand for a sexual affair he participated in- both parties being married)"

2. "Building trust and lasting relations between the community and the police department."

3. "Properly taking correct measures and using consistent procedures in a timely fashion including thoroughly reviewing cases and reprimanding misconduct in the police department."

4. "Communicating in a timely fashion with all parties including the community about ongoing efforts regarding crime and/or community building efforts that would help empower and join the community and the police in working together and not as separate entities."

5. "Communicating with top city officials immediately (the Mayor and the Fire and Police Commission) about gross misconduct i.e. homicides occurring at the hands of police officers (Derek Williams's case) and extremely inappropriate behavior (Darius Simmons case) where a mother was not allowed to be at the side of her child as he died."

6. "To promote and evaluate police initiated events and activities that bring the police department and the community together as partners and to be a visible presence of stability and swiftness when problems arise that go against this premise."

The petition asks that Chief Flynn resigns immediately based on those six points.

Organizers say they want 10,000 signatures, starting on Friday, before they turn the petitions over to the Fire and Police Commission.

While it's unclear if the signatures will mean anything at City Hall, organizers say it speaks loudly to the community's concerns.

"We left (faith) in the people of authority and it took 14 months to get the truth," says community activist Tory Lowe about the Derek Williams death in MPD custody.

Lowe is spearheading the petition drive.

"It's just about leadership and what we want is new leadership that we can trust. I don't think trust will ever happen if Flynn is in office."

Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donovon supports Chief Flynn.

"I'm concerned this community is over reacting a little," says Donovan.  "I remember when it wasn't long ago when you would have thought Chief Flynn was the second coming of Christ."

Now Donovan says the community is ready to crucify Flynn.

"I'm standing with the hard working officers in this department who need our support."

The group wanting Flynn out of power plans on holding a news conference Friday to discuss the effort.  Organizers tell TODAY'S TMJ4 they will start collecting signatures in downtown and spread to neighborhoods around the city this weekend.

The Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission's executive director Mike Tobin hasn't commented on the circulation of these petitions.