Amid heightened tensions in his community, a police chief reacted with outrage after critics said he was being disrespectful for being on his cell phone during a public meeting.
Milwaukee police chief Ed Flynn was attending a Fire and Police Commission meeting Thursday on the shooting death earlier this year of an unarmed man by one of his officers when he learned of a child being killed during a drive-by shooting, the local NBC affiliate WTMJ‑TV reported.
“I was on my phone. Yes, that’s true,” Flynn told a reporter. “I was following the developments of a 5-year-old girl sitting on her dad’s lap who just got shot in the head by a drive-by shooting. If some of the people here gave a good goddamn about the victimization of the people in this community by crime, I’d take some of their invective more seriously.”
Flynn rattled of statistics detailing how the African-American community is beset with violence, saying that critics ignore these facts.
“Now, they know all about the last three people who have been killed by the Milwaukee Police Department over the course of the last several years, there’s not one of them can name one of the last three homicide victims we’ve had in this city,” Flynn said.
“I’m leaving here to go that scene,” he said as tears welled up in his eyes. “And I take it personally. We’re going up there and there’s a bunch of cops up there processing a scene of a dead kid.”
The officer involved in the earlier shooting, Christopher Manney, was fired for not following department rules, according to WTMJ‑TV.
Manney got into an altercation with Donte Hamilton, 31, who gained control of the officer’s baton. After being struck with it, Manney shot Hamilton, according to an internal affairs investigation.
Flynn is under pressure from the community to stand by the firing, although the police union said the decision was “unprecedented,” with 99.3 percent of its 1,600 members casting a vote of no confidence in Flynn.
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