“I take it personally.” These were the words of Police Chief Edward Flynn as he spoke about a recent killing of a 5-year old girl during a drive-by shooting.
Protesters all but disrupted a meeting to discuss the shooting of a black man named Donte Hamilton by police. The incident, which involved Hamilton attacking an officer with a police baton, incited complaints by the community. With recent high-profile events like Ferguson in many minds, the situation was tense.
People who gathered at the meeting tried to add fuel to the fire when they saw Chief Flynn use his phone. They mocked him for being uncaring about the lives of black citizens in his community.
His response effectively put an end to their misguided abuse.
According to Conservative Tribune, he said:
“I was on my phone, that’s true,” Flynn began. “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.”
Then his demeanor changed, and Flynn appeared visibly upset by the words he had just spoken.
“The greatest racial disparity in the city of Milwaukee is getting shot and killed, hello! 80 percent of my homicide victims every year are African American. 80 percent of our aggravated assault victims are African American.”
The chief went on to remind listeners that the police would be the ones to investigate the crime and proceed to patrol their streets. He asserted that the “men and women in blue” who risk their lives every day were not to blame for continued violence.
This kind of unapologetic response seems rare in our current knee-jerk culture. Critics are quick to deride law enforcement, but rarely do we hear their honest response. With the constant threat of crime and gang-related violence in our cities, it’s important to remember who is actually working to solve it.