Posts tagged “Police Chief Ed Flynn

Milwaukee’s Murders by the Numbers

In the first half of 2015, violent crime has ravaged the city of Milwaukee. The following is a demographic breakdown of the city’s 2015 homicides year-to-date:

Milwaukee has experienced 54 homicides;

About 81.5 percent of homicide victims were African-American, although this demographic group represents 40 percent of the city’s population;

About 12 of Milwaukee’s population is Hispanic, but just 7.5 of murder victims were Latino;

About 11 percent of those killed were white, a group that comprises about 45 percent of the city’s population;

About 76 percent of murder victims were shot to death, while stabbings accounted for about 13 percent of murders;

About 87 percent of African-Americans murdered were shot to death;

Seventy-five percent of Hispanic victims were stabbed to death;

Fifty-percent of whites were killed by gunfire.

These statistics illustrate that gun crime in Milwaukee is primarily a north side, inner city problem.

About 400,000 people reside in Milwaukee neighborhoods north of the Menomonee Valley. As such, Mayor Barrett and Police Chief Ed Flynn are asking the state legislature to pass new gun laws due to the actions of just a handful of residence that, in total, represent only seven percent of Wisconsin’s overall population.
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Steve Spingola is an author, retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective, and a contributor to TNT’s Cold Justice.

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.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2015


#BeAFarce Turning the Milwaukee PD into a Laughing Stock

On Thursday, the Milwaukee Police Department’s Chief-of-Police, Ed Flynn, held a news conference to discuss the wave of violence that has shaken even the city’s typically complicit media. In the immediate aftermath of the chickens of the chief’s failed policies coming home to roost, Flynn pulled an Obama by taking no responsibility for anything while blaming others.

With the vast majority of the Milwaukee media willing to regurgitate and disseminate Flynn’s tripe, the chief-of-police knows, for the most part, that the gaggle of reporters — ninety percent of whom are liberals that scoff at the Second Amendment — will give the chief a pass while gleefully airing his anti-gun sound bites.

While responding to the usual softball question from reporter Myra Sanchick, who had solicited Flynn’s “reaction to the situation playing out of four people dead,” the police chief blamed a subculture of violence. Certainly, Flynn’s response was disingenuous. Over the course of the last four decades, a subculture of violence has permeated certain sections of the city, which led to the next reporter’s Captain Obvious question:

“Chief [Flynn], any theories as to how that’s changed from last year [when Milwaukee had 19 homicides on April 16, as opposed to the 115% increase in the 2015 murders to date]? What’s going on this year?”

Flynn sighed, noted “an interlocking set of challenges,” and then went on a diatribe about having a rational “discussion of firearms without awaking the sleeping beast of the Second Amendment defenders who have, you know, never met a gun law they liked.”

In the next breath, Flynn did what left-of-center politicos do when their failed policies are exposed — he blamed Milwaukee talk-show hosts. “If we could all turn off our AM radio stations for a couple of days, and engage in rational discourse, about what it takes to effect the thinking of career criminals carrying firearms, we might make some progress.”

http://www.jsonline.com/multimedia/video/?bctid=4177487704001

Clearly, Flynn is desperately grasping for whatever straws he can to prop-up his crumbling administration. The man involved in the homicides that the chief-of-police is referring to, Ricky Ricardo Chiles III, was a convicted felon with a lengthy rap sheet. Chiles was on parole for bank robbery and, according to news reports in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, was “…sentenced to far less than the maximum penalty of 10 years after the judge was told about his cooperation [with the Milwaukee Police Department] in an unrelated homicide case.”

In essence, Flynn’s police department, in an effort to secure Chiles’ cooperation, sought to secure a lesser sentence for the bank robber to nab a homicide suspect. While this set of circumstances is certainly not unusual, the chief-of-police seems to want it both ways. On one hand, Flynn blames Gov. Walker and the legislature for gun laws that, in the chief’s opinion, are not tough enough. On the other hand, his own department — in conjunction with the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office — obtained a get out of jail early card for Chiles.

From my experience in the field, Wisconsin’s gun laws are not the problem. Wisconsin State Statute 941.29 prohibits felons from possessing firearms, while subsection four makes it a felony crime to knowingly furnish a firearm to a felon. Chief Flynn’s straw man argument that the city is awash with guns, and more gun laws would prohibit firearms from falling into the hands of felons, is a red herring used to cover over his own flawed policies.

For example, during this same news conference, Chief Flynn argued some of the 2015 Milwaukee homicides have occurred because of drug violence. The simple possession of narcotics is a crime and each individual illicit drug sale is a felony. Yet few, if any, law enforcement officials would seriously argue that the prohibition of illegal narcotics has prevented users from obtaining their desired commodity.

To answer the reporter’s question to Flynn, which the chief-of-police conveniently ducked, what has changed in Milwaukee is that criminals now believe that the Milwaukee Police Department is a paper tiger. By throwing Officer Christopher Manney under the bus to appease the grievance community, and by implementing policies, such prohibiting the vast majority of vehicle pursuits, the MPD has become the laughing stock of the city’s hoodlums.

A few days ago, this report was typed into the Milwaukee Police Department’s Computer Assisted Dispatch system: “Just occurring…Stolen auto taunting sqd. that can’t pursue. Driving back n forth beeping at the sqd. Same stolen auto tried to ram same officers/sqd yesterday.”

Based on the reports from officers in the field, such as the one above, I have created a new hashtag at Twitter, #BeAFarce, a spoof of Flynn’s MPD motto, “Be a force.”

A few days ago, a supporter of Mayor Barrett’s asked what I would do differently than Flynn, at which time I provided this eight-point response:

• Establish well-organized, well-supervised, and decentralized ASP (Area Specific Policing) units in each district
• Besides ten analysts, gut the Orwellian fusion center and form a narco-gang intel unit, and, then, coordinate with the district ASP units
• Hire 200 officers and adequately staff police districts
• Revitalize and adequately staff the MPD’s once nationally renowned detective bureau by permitting homicide detectives to purse killers, even if overtime is required
• Back-up the officers on the street — those who follow the edicts of the Constitution — instead of throwing them under the bus
• Reorganize IAD by ridding the unit of those who simply say ‘yes’ to the brass instead of conducting independent investigations
• Require each district captain to reach out to community organizations and law-abiding residents of neighborhoods to reestablish a certain trust diminished by the MPD’s abhorrent response times
• Appoint a chief-of-police more concerned with crime suppression than formulating a thesis for a PhD dissertation.

Moreover, the Milwaukee Police Department’s administration is top-heavy and needs reorganization, which should be conducted by a leader who actually lived in Milwaukee, and has an institutional knowledge of the city and its police department.

In interim, Milwaukee is stuck with Chief Flynn, who, unfortunately, since becoming entangled in an extramarital affair with a married reporter, has lost any semblance of independence from the city’s caretaker mayor.

http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/noquarter/48568662.html

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Steve Spingola is an author, retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective, and a contributor to TNT’s Cold Justice. 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.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2015


The Letter the “Fish Wrapper” Refused to Publish

Below is a letter to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which the newspaper or, as many old school Milwaukee police officers call it, the “fish wrapper,” refused to publish.  On October 28, after receiving no response from the Journal Sentinel Editorial staff, I e-mail David Haynes — the JS’s Editorial Editor — and requested that the below op-ed be published.  Mr. Haynes never replied to the e-mail.

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October 24, 2014

Dear Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editor:

On the first floor of the City of Milwaukee’s Safety Academy, the names and photographs of over five dozen Milwaukee police officers grace a wall that literally showcases their service. This distinguished honor, however, is one that every Milwaukee police officer seeks to avoid, as the faces on this wall are of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

During my three-decades with the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD), I have spent a great deal of time — as a homicide detective and as a lieutenant — retracing the final moments of those who no longer walk among us. Certainly, some of these tragic deaths could have been avoided. One particular case that comes to mind is the March 19, 1985, coldblooded murders of Rosario Collura and Leonard Lesnieski — two Milwaukee police officers gunned down on the near north side. On that fateful day, the officers approached Terrance Davis, who they suspected of selling drugs from the porch of a home.  When one of the officers asked if he had anything in his pockets, Davis replied, “Yeah, I’ll show you,” at which time he removed a handgun from a pocket and shot both officers to death. What we will never know is why the officers, instead of asking, did not conduct a pat down of Davis.

Seventeen-years earlier, the U.S. Supreme Court held that police officers could conduct a frisk of an individual’s outer most garment if an officer — based on the totality of the circumstances— reasonably believed that a person may be armed. Pat downs have undoubtedly saved the lives of numerous police officers. From experience, few things are as hair-raising as conducting frisk and detecting a concealed weapon on a person.  Yet, 29-years after the deaths of Officers Collura and Lesnieski, the importance of officer safety is being marginalized by the political correctness of Police Chief Edward Flynn.

On October 15, Chief Flynn terminated the employment Officer Christopher Manney, an officer with 13-years of street-level experience, for allegedly conducting a pat down of Dondre Hamilton in violation of MPD policy. After reading the MPD’s allegations and Officer Manney’s response, I sought input from a number of veteran officers.  To a person, we collectively believe Officer Manney’s actions were appropriate. While I typically do not purport to speak for others, I am confident in noting that Chief Flynn’s firing of Officer Manney is being met with widespread condemnation from those who have worn an MPD uniform.

Unfortunately, I believe Chief Flynn’s irresponsible termination of Officer Manney is directly related to his lack of an institutional memory. In 1985, while serving with Officers Collura and Lesnieski at District Five, I have vivid memories of both officers smiling and conversing with their colleagues. During the same period, however, Chief Flynn was an officer in far-away Jersey City.  Thus, the image of Flynn as an east coast carpetbagger is fueling a consensus amongst the rank-and-file that the chief sees those fallen officers on that wall at the Safety Academy as simple strangers from a bygone era. This perception, vis-à-vis his treatment of Officer Manney, is reinforced by the police chief’s de facto memo to the rank-and-file that politics takes precedent over officer safety. No doubt, Chief Flynn is sending a dangerous message that, I believe, may result in more faces appearing on that wall of no return at the Safety Academy.  Will officers — fearful for their careers — be compelled to repeat the disastrous ways of the past by asking a dangerous or unstable person what those “bulges” are in his or her pockets instead of conducting a simple frisk? If only Officers Collura and Lesnieski could speak from the grave.

Sincerely,

Steven Spingola

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Steve Spingola is a retired Milwaukee Police Department Homicide Lieutenant.

During the month of November, Spingola is donating his share of the proceeds from the sale of his book, Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. 1 & 2, to the Officer Manney Support Fund.

Author Mitchell Nevin is also donating  his November royalties of the print edition of his Milwaukee-based crime novel, The Cozen Protocol, and Glenn Frankovis is also providing his share of the royalties of his book regarding Area Saturation Patrol.  These books make great stocky stuffers and the authors’ share of the proceeds will assist Officer Manney.


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.

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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


Milwaukee’s 2013 Per Capita Murder Rate Higher than Chicago’s

In an August 12 post, I lamented that the resurgence of shootings and homicides in Milwaukee this summer is due, in part, the city’s policing strategy.  And, quite frankly, since that post over two weeks ago, things have actually gotten worse—more shootings, a couple more homicides, and an officer getting accosted and sent to the hospital by an emboldened thug element.

A review of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Web site this morning reports the following: a 43-year-old member of the Milwaukee Police Department’s (MPD) Tactical Enforcement Unit is attacked by two men, ages 18 and 24, who sent the officer to the hospital after a foot pursuit.  At 6:30 PM, three juvenile boys were shot near S. 26 Street  and W. Lapham Ave. after a basketball game gone awry. Another article reports than homicides in Milwaukee are up 19 percent in 2013 during the same period from a year ago.

You know things in Milwaukee are going from bad to worse when the beer city’s per capita homicide rate surpasses Chicago’s, where a bloody summer has stained the office of its new mayor, Rahm Emanuel.

Here are the numbers:

City                                 Population                           2013 Homicides               Per Capita Homicides

Chicago   2,707,000            270 One in 10,828 residents murdered.
Milwaukee     597,867              67 One in 8,923 residents murdered.

Sources:

http://data.jsonline.com/News/HomicideTracker/

http://homicides.redeyechicago.com/

The officers on the street, as well as the brazen criminal element, are taking notice that the MPD’s crime fighting strategy is similar to President Obama’s redline remarks about Syria: like Obama, Chief Flynn’s bark is much worse than his bite.

“A Tac squad cop gets the s**t kicked out of him on 28 and Auer,” after two suspects who ran from the officer, turned and attacked, notes an officer deprecating the lack of adequate on scene back-up.   “Flynn and his policies are going to get a cop killed.”

Holding another roll call on the street won’t solve the problem of inadequate, on-scene officer back-up and drug dealers feeling empowered by the lack of a long term, area specific policing strategy.

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

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Spingola-Files-Volume-Steven/dp/0979683998/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364048098&sr=8-1&keywords=best+of+the+spingola+files

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, 2013