Community members circulating petitions in effort to get Chief Flynn fired

CREATED Oct. 12, 2012 - UPDATED: Oct. 12, 2012

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  • Jermont Terry reports Video by wtmj.com

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  • Jermont Terry reports Video by wtmj.com

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MILWAUKEE- Another effort to get Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn fired is now underway.

Community members took to the streets Friday in an attempt to gather 10,000 signatures for Flynn's removal.

The downtown lunch crowd was greeted by those with clipboards and an agenda.

"Once again we're trying to make a statement... The people do not want Flynn in office," says petition organizer Tory Lowe.

Outside the Grand Avenue Mall, some people avoided the petitioners, but many like Eric and Kathy Radue felt compelled to join the movement.

"I'm just happy someone cares enough and have petitions signed and hopefully get something done about it because someone needs to stand up for it," says Eric Radue.

This push to remove Flynn comes after the death of Derek Williams was ruled a homicide.  He died while in police custody begging for help.  This week the feds announced it is investigating the case and examining if there are systemic problems within the department -- especially after four officers were charged with performing illegal strip searches of suspects.

"If those things are happening under his watch I think it's a constructive way to try to deal with it," believes Kathy Radue.

But Chief Flynn insists he won't resign and welcomes any outside investigation.

"We have never tried to hide the ball...we've always been transparent with the community we've been open to the media...and we've been open to external review," argues Flynn.

As the petition movement expands into neighborhoods, many wonder if the signatures mean anything

"We have to come together and tell them what we want and they have to respect it," says Lowe.

Those signatures will end up at City Hall for the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission.  The commission has the final say about Flynn's future.