A defiant Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn rejected a demand by clergy and activists that he step down over his handling of the case of a man who died in a squad car, says the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. They vowed to mobilize their members in an effort to force his ouster. “We believe it’s time for a change in command,” J.W. Spear of the Milwaukee Friends Meeting and Milwaukee Inner-city Congregations Allied for Hope said after the tense closed-door meeting at the Hillside Family Resource Center on N. 7th St.
“If they think they can accomplish that, I welcome them to try,” Flynn said. “But I’m not going anywhere.” He has come under fire after the release of a 2011 squad car video showing a suffocating Derek Williams begging for help in the back of squad car while officers do nothing. The officers were cleared of any wrongdoing. A special prosecutor has been appointed to reopen the investigation after the medical examiner’s office revised its ruling on the death, from natural causes to homicide. The Williams case has strained Flynn’s relationship with clergy, many of whom have already raised concerns about other police issues, including potentially illegal cavity searches of suspects, racial disparities in traffic stops, and the handling of the shooting death of a 13-year-old African-American boy by his white neighbor.