Chief Flynn addresses recent officer discharge actions
MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn has fired four officers so far in May, and the month has just begun! There were two firings May 1st, another May 2nd and a fourth on May 4th. Chief Flynn conducted an outdoor roll call Wednesday, May 9th at the Harley-Davidson Museum, where he addressed the firings.
The Milwaukee Police Department’s motorcycle unit rolled up at the Harley Museum Wednesday for roll call, to kick off “Motorcycle Safety Month.”
After the roll call, Chief Flynn was asked about officers no longer on the force. The latest firing was probationary officer Danielle Scott, who was discharged for allegedly providing false information to police in a homicide investigation.
“We`re not going to go into details about that for obvious reasons. We`re going to have a pending court case and all of these matters are going to be part and parcel of an evidentiary hearing. Suffice it to say that all indications justify an arrest charge to be made, and based on the severity of that charge and her probationary status I decided to terminate her,” Flynn said.
Another officer was fired for showing two topless photos on a MPD computer, and a third was fired for allegedly using excessive force on a 40-year-old woman arrested during a traffic stop. The fourth officer was discharged for allegedly driving drunk while off duty.
Flynn says one officer thus far has appealed his/her termination.
‘We have a code of conduct that we take seriously. We conduct a thorough investigation of wrongdoing and we hold ourselves accountable. There`s no pattern here. None of the behaviors were related to other behaviors. None of the officers were related to anything with the other officers. It`s really no more statistically significant that having five homicides in a week like we did last January,” Flynn said.
Milwaukee Alderman Terry Witkowski says he feels Flynn and MPD are being transparent. “In recent years, the Milwaukee Police Department has been more transparent than ever. There’s more information out there than you can shake a stick at,” Witkowski said.
Flynn again took issue Wednesday with the media, calling for balanced reporting. Flynn said there is more good done by the Department than bad, and the media does a poor job of portraying that. “It would be helpful if the media was half as interested in next week’s commendation ceremony as they are about talking about my five fired officers,” Flynn said.
Flynn says he knows MPD’s public persona is important. “We’re not afraid to hold ourselves accountable and have the bad news covered. We get it. We’re a municipal agency responsible to a wide variety of stakeholders. But again, overwhelmingly the work of this department is positive, effective, lawful and admirable,” Flynn said.
Chief Flynn fired two other officers in January. He says there is no unusual crackdown going on, there’s just a code of conduct and some officers have violated it.
Flynn would not go into much detail about any of the recent firings because he and the department are guarding against possible legal action.