Archive for October, 2014

SF Encourages a Vote ‘No Confidence’ on October 30

On October 30, the Milwaukee Police Association — the union representing the Milwaukee Police Department’s rank-and-file — will hold a vote regarding their confidence in Police Chief Ed Flynn. While retirees do not have a vote, SF would encourage active officers to register a vote of ‘no confidence.’

Clearly, the termination of Officer Christopher Manney is premised on political correctness. Supporters of Flynn’s irresponsible firing of Manney claim that politics had no role in the chief’s decision; however, the record shows otherwise.

“We’ve been placed in an almost impossible position,” Flynn is quoted in the April 3, 2013 edition of the New York Times, where he was listed as an “advocate of pedestrian stops, who said that stopping the tactic could harm the low-income, high-crime neighborhoods that civil rights groups say they want to protect.”

Then, in an August 2013 article in InPublicSafety.com, Flynn seemed to endorse New York City’s controversial stop-and-frisk initiative.  “That’s what worries us about what’s happening in New York,” said Flynn.  “It would  be a shame if some people decided to put us back  in our cars just answering calls and ceding the streets to thugs.”

Yet when his own officer, seeing “bulges” in the pockets of a man who appeared unstable, dared to conduct a same type of frisk that Flynn had previously supported, the chief terminated the officer’s employment.

As is the case with politicians, it is important to pay little attention to what they say but, instead, watch what they do. Flynn likes to talk tough and support his fellow east coast chiefs. But back in Milwaukee, where the rubber meets the road, the chief didn’t flinch when tossing a veteran officer under the bus to appease interest groups.

Milwaukee does not need a politician running its police department. Last year, the city’s per capita homicide rate surpassed Chicago’s.  In 2014, the Milwaukee Police Department’s homicide clearance rate is a dismal 40 percent. In the 1990s, when I served as a detective in the homicide unit, the clearance rate for murders was over 80 percent.  Under Chief Flynn’s leadership, a once nationally recognized detective bureau has been run into the ground, an officer now has been terminated for simply doing his job, and Americans have more confidence in Congress than Milwaukee officers now have in their police chief.

The time to act is now. On Thursday, SF encourages rank-and-file Milwaukee officers to register a vote of ‘no confidence.’

——————————————————————————————————————

Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2014


JS Editorial a Finger in the Eye of Rank-and-File Coppers

Last Thursday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial Board stuck a finger in the eye of Milwaukee’s rank-and-file police officers by endorsing Police Chief Ed Flynn’s termination of Officer Christopher Manney.  The one-sided editorial did little but regurgitate the company line offered by Flynn.

The arrogance of the JS Editorial Board is evident for all to see. Why is it that those who penned the editorial did not reach out to critics of Flynn’s decision and obtain their input? The likely answer is that the cop haters on the editorial board, so willing to carry water for Flynn and the political hacks at City Hall, were well aware that the response to the police chief’s decision would be universal condemnation.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have yet to speak to a seasoned law enforcement veteran who, after reading the reports of Officer Manney’s contact with Dondre Hamilton, viewed Manney’s actions as inappropriate. Sure, there are a handful of bootlickers on the seventh floor of the Police Administration Building that will jump when Chief Flynn snaps his fingers, but real cops — those who work the streets and put their lives on the line — know that Chief Flynn and the JS Editorial Board are more interested in politics than making Milwaukee a safer place to live and work.

What is clear is that the newspaper’s editorial cabal have absolutely no police experience. If they had, they would care more about the safety of Milwaukee’s police officers than placating interest groups.  And, quite frankly, it is easy for white collar journalists to sit in their ivory tower on West State Street and pontificate about how cops should do their jobs, even though these same editorial writers probably lack the intestinal fortitude to police the streets of Milwaukee.

From this point forward, I would encourage Milwaukee police officers to set aside the October 16, 2014, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial supporting the termination of an officer for simply doing his job.  The rank-and-file needs to understand that they are under attack.  To paraphrase Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu: know your enemies, know yourself; one-hundred battles, one-hundred victories.

The firing of Officer Manney is so bizarre that it rivals the fictional plot to undermined rank-and-file Milwaukee police officers in The Cozen Protocol. Unfortunately, in the hallways of the seventh floor, fiction is now becoming a sad reality.

———————————————————————————————————–

Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2014


How Can Ed Flynn Sleep at Night?

On Wednesday, Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn terminated the employment of Police Officer Christopher Manney for conducting a frisk of Dondre Hamilton — a troubled man with psychological issues — in Red Arrow Park.

According to the Milwaukee Police Department’s Internal Affairs complaint:

During the April 30 incident, Hamilton resisted Officer Manney’s attempted pat down by putting “his arms down and a confrontation ensued.” Manney drew his baton and, after delivering a strike to Hamilton’s arm, Hamilton disarmed Manney and struck the officer in the neck with the baton. Fearing for his life, Officer Manney shot Hamilton numerous times.

Mr. Hamilton later passed away from injuries sustained in the shooting.

On September 23, 2014, Deputy Inspector Michael Brunson, the commanding officer of the Internal Affairs Division, alleged Manney “failed to adhere to policy when he failed to have a reasonable suspicion that Mr. Hamilton was armed with a weapon or posed a threat to him.” However, during a compelled interviewed with Internal Affairs, Manney told investigators that he observed “bulges” in Hamilton’s pockets.  In a response to the charges, Manney noted that Hamilton was lying down in a public park “in the path where the public walks” and that the officer “immediately suspected” that Hamilton “wasn’t in a normal state.”

Having over 30-years of law enforcement experience, I believe Manney followed the edicts of the courts during his contact and subsequent pat down of Dondre Hamilton. The burden of proof needed to conduct a frisk is a reasonable and articulable suspicion that a person MAY BE armed — an evaluation that is determined by the totality of the circumstances.  Bulges in the pockets of a seemingly unstable person in a public place could certainly lead a reasonable police officer to believe a person may be armed.  Moreover, I have yet to speak to a single officer — not a one — who believes Manney’s frisk of Hamilton was unjustified.

Consequently, Chief Flynn’s decision in this matter merits scrutiny. In situations such as the shooting death of Mr. Hamilton, rank-and-file police officers soon learn if their police chief is a dedicated law enforcement officer — a person who once toiled in the field and likely conducted dozens of frisks in a similar manner as Officer Manney — or a politician with a badge.  In this instance it is obvious that Flynn is a politician in a blue uniform.

So, I have a few questions for Chief Flynn:

Sir, how can you sleep at night knowing full well that you have thrown a police officer under the bus for simply doing his job?

Chief, do you actually believe that the rank-and-file officers of the MPD — the men and women who put their lives on the line policing troubled areas of Milwaukee — have any confidence in your leadership?

And how will your officer’s react knowing that you, sir, are willing to end their careers to appease City Hall political operatives, the press, and some disgruntled members of the public?

Chief Flynn, what incentive do the officers of your department now have to stop and question potentially armed and dangerous individuals, when, career wise, a better decision might be to drive right on by?

Chief Flynn, as a cop, you have lost your way. While I generally do not purport to speak for others, I feel confident in noting that your decision to fire Officer Manney for seeking to protect his person while performing a dangerous job is an embarrassment to those of us who have worn an MPD uniform.

Chief, with a 2014 homicide clearance rate of just 40 percent, and a per capita murder rate that rivals Chicago’s, maybe it is time to pack it in and call it a career.

Only the bootlickers on the seventh floor of the PAB or the Internal Affairs ‘yes men’ will bother to wave goodbye to Ed Flynn as he trots off to the east coast for a cushy consultant’s position.

—————————————————————————————-

Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2014