Man who allegedly shot into crowd claims Chief Flynn is using him as a poster child for assault weapons

CREATED Mar. 6, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - Chief Flynn showed off the rap sheet of man named Shawn Bridges last week after a shooting in Milwaukee. The rap sheet reached all the way to the ground.

Police arrested Bridges after he allegedly opened fire on a crowd of people with an assault style weapon.

Bridges was in court this morning, and his attorney offered up an interesting defense.

Shawn Bridges' attorney took issue with Chief Flynn's rare press conference in the streets of Milwaukee last week. She argues her client is wrongly being treated as a poster child for a ban on assault weapons.

Flynn railed against the man after a shooting near 29th and Atkinson. Two detectives claim they saw Bridges, a convicted felon, open fire on a crowd using an assault rifle. Two people were shot. An officer chased Bridges down.

In court, Bridges and his attorney argued the man's record, which includes drug and battery convictions, doesn't warrant keeping the man in jail to prove a point.

"This individual should be treated as any other individual that has not appeared on TV with the chief, or the district attorney," said
Hazel Jean Washington, Bridges’ defense attorney.

“We've got the best witnesses you could have, so it should be pretty clear," said Chief Flynn of the case against Bridges.

Flynn said Bridges is not a poster case for his push to ban assault rifles. But the man's background, crime and weapon does bring the issue to light.
"Fair treatment for people who fire assault weapons on crowds of people is high bail, being treated seriously by the system, and put in jail for a long time," Flynn added.

Wednesday, a court commissioner set a high bond for Bridges, at $50,000.

The judge told bridges her decision has nothing to do with his criminal history, only what he's accused of doing. The man's defense attorney claims police can't link her client to the shooting.