Milwaukee Police Go Barney Fife On Mob Attacks
Maybe it's just me but I swear it looks like Ed Flynn has aged at least 10 years since he took over as Milwaukee Police Chief in January of 2008. That shouldn't really be surprising though - being Chief is a tough job.
It's a job that's made tougher however when police try to pretend that mob violence by youths isn't happening - when everybody knows that it is.
Early in the morning of July 4th, a gang of approximately 50 teenagers looted a convenience store at the corner of North Avenue and Humboldt. Shortly afterwards, the mob attacked groups of people hanging out at Reservoir Park after the July 3rd fireworks.
A surveillance video shows the convenience store being looted. Televised interviews with victims of the attacks in the park confirm the wildings. Residents in the area say that the mob has been running around the Riverwest neighborhood for weeks.
Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary however, the Milwaukee Police Department says that reports of a "mob" are not accurate! Huh?
Chief Flynn seems to be saying: "Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes and ears"? In this case, with all due respect to Chief Flynn, I think I'll believe the photographic evidence and eyewitness accounts.
I don't know if the potential racial component of the matter (most of the teens on the surveillance video are African-American) makes the Chief uncomfortable? I don't know if the thought of random beating by gangs of kids create political problems for the Chief and the Mayor? Frankly, I don't know why the authorities are trying to downplay or outright deny the incidents?
I do know though that Milwaukee Police need to confront the "mob" problem directly - not continue to go Barney Fife on the attacks.