Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn made a national name for himself on Wednesday after an impassioned video went viral on YouTube.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel posted a three-minute clip of Flynn responding to police protesters, who turned out to a Fire and Police Commission meeting to slam the department over the shooting of a mentally ill man.
Dontre Hamilton suffered from schizophrenia but was non-violent, according to family members. When Officer Christopher Manney approached Hamilton, he reportedly violated protocols that escalated the confrontation, and he ended up shooting Hamilton 14 times, killing him.
Flynn responded by firing Manney, taking flak from the police union in the process. When police protesters showed up to verbally attack him and other members of the police at the meeting, Flynn was having none of it. He shouted back at many of them and took a phone call, much to the chagrin of the protesters.
This led the press to ask Edward Flynn about his actions following the meeting. His response is not only angry, thought-provoking, and impassioned, but it also symbolizes what many law enforcement personnel feel about doing their jobs in the 21st Century.
While the whole rant is epic and genuine and worth the three minutes of your time that it will take to listen, one of the most powerful parts comes midway through.
“Well I was on my phone, and yes, that’s true. I was following developments with a 5-year-old little girl sitting on her dad’s lap who just got shot in the head by a drive-by shooting. And if some of the people here gave a good g*dd*mn about the victimization of the people in this community by crime, I’d take some of their invective more seriously. The greatest racial disparity in the city of Milwaukee is getting shot and killed. Hello! Eighty percent of my homicide victims every year are African-American. Eighty percent of our aggravated assault victims are African-American. Eighty percent of our shooting victims, who survive their shooting are African-American. Now they know all about the last three people who’ve been killed by the Milwaukee Police Department over the course of the last several years. There’s not one of them that can name one of the last three homicide victims we’ve had in this city.”
Check out the rest here.
Thus far, the rant has received more than 3,000 comments on Reddit and easily reached the top of page one Wednesday.
Is Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn justified in his animosity towards the protesters? And does he owe the African-American community an apology over the handling of Dontre Hamilton’s case?