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'We were lied to': MPD Chief Flynn responds to BBC documentary controversy

Flynn called the doc sensationalistic
Posted at 6:09 PM, Nov 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-20 19:09:26-05

Milwaukee police Chief Ed Flynn called a documentary about murder in Milwaukee unbalanced and sensationalistic.

He talked for the first time Monday about the controversial BBC documentary. Many are angry BBC had extraordinary access to crime scenes and portrayed the city in a negative light.

This discussion lasted for close to two hours and it was tense. Flynn simply says the police department was lied to by BBC producers.

"Let me start by asserting that no one in the Milwaukee police department was as appalled as I was," Flynn said.

Flynn revealed officials in his department saw the film earlier this year before it aired.

"To say the least it was concerning," he said.

And because of that MPD officials said they emailed the production team with comments and corrections on accuracy, safety and security. MPD said the film had no talk of solutions to alleviate violence.

Flynn said they wanted BBC to make changes but the BBC never got back to them.

"The fact is as our timeline will reveal, we were misled, in fact we were lied to by representatives of the BBC," Flynn said.

Filming began days after Sherman Park unrest in August 2016. Flynn says they were told the film crews were doing a story on crime analysis, prevention and how police are working with the community on building relationships. That's why Flynn says he signed off on letting crews have under the tape access.

However Vaun Mayes, who was in the film, says that wasn't a good idea.

"To me that's highly unfortunate, if they came to do a balanced story, once you give them access to dead bodies and sensitive material like that they're probably going to change their mind and go with what's more sensational and what they can get more views off of," Mayes said.

Now because of this the fire and police commission is reviewing the procedures when it comes to ride alongs with MPD.