Common Council holds public hearing on DOJ draft report

Posted at 6:24 PM, Sep 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-14 19:42:40-04

MILWAUKEE, WI - For the first time since its release, Milwaukee Common Council held a public hearing Thursday to discuss the Department of Justice's draft report on Milwaukee police department practices. 

Dozens of people packed the room and a punch with their passionate pleas directed toward Police Cheif Ed Flynn and his staff regarding their frustrations with the findings of the draft report and policing in Milwaukee. The report addresses the need for changes to hiring, force diversity, the use of deadly force and emphasis on community relations.

"There will be no trust in this community with the police," one citizen said. 

"I have a police chief here in this room that every time I show up and I hear him speak it's [with] such disdain for my people," she continued. 

Her frustration is a direct response to the Department of Justice draft report on the Milwaukee Police Department. The 200-page report emphasizes community policing and amplifies concerns some say many in the community have tried to voice for years. 

"[We're left with] a skeleton of a draft that may have errors which may be incorrect which may have a whole bunch of other stuff," Alderwoman Milele Coggs said. 

"But at least it gives us some framework to give people some peace for us to begin to work on some policy changes," she continued. 

According to Chief Flynn, the Milwaukee Police Department has yet to receive a finalized report, and in a letter to the community, Chief Flynn confirms a final document does not exist. He said although he and his department agree with almost all of the recommendations, it’s worth noting the first draft, produced by a DOJ hired a consulting firm, is riddled with objective factual errors of omission and commission. 

“I don’t know another organization in the country that has to have an extended dialogue about a draft report that was unedited, uncorrected, and not the result of a collaboration, but we’re doing it," Chief Flynn said. 

According to Flynn, it was the responsibility of the Department of Justice to release the documents, but now, under the new administration, the DOJ policy is that finalized reports such as this one will not be released at all.