MILWAUKEE -- A John Doe investigation into possible criminal wrongdoing by Milwaukee police officers and a police sergeant is underway and on Wednesday, April 11 the matter made its way to the Milwaukee Common Council chambers. This, after Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn placed the officers and sergeant on desk duty, pending an internal investigation, and then asked the community to bring any additional complaints of misconduct forward.
Six Milwaukee police officers and one supervisor remain on desk duty, after illegal strip search complaints surfaced. Chief Flynn has involved the Milwaukee County District Attorney, the FBI and even the United States Attorney.
On April 11th, the Milwaukee Common Council unanimously passed a resolution urging transparency in the investigation. The Council wants to make sure the results of the investigation are released. "In hearing the outcry from the community, we all had different responses, but one that I always fall back on and be true to is the necessity for transparency as these investigations are conducted. It's just a matter of the results being reported to the community," Milwaukee Alderwoman Milele Coggs said.
Police Chief Ed Flynn said there is nothing in the Council's resolution that MPD had not intended to do anyway. "We will indicate what lessons we have learned from this investigation as we move forward, and we will certainly give an accounting to the community, as well as to the rest of the criminal justice system," Flynn said.
Alderwoman Coggs co-sponsored the resolution and praised Chief Flynn's handling of the investigation. Coggs said she wanted a public declaration, saying "We want transparency that it's not a cover up, that we're not trying to hide anything. We believe this all needs to be aired out in public."
Flynn said a proper investigation is underway and will take time. "While this investigation continues, I just ask for the community's forbearance and that they not leap to judgement, but allow a very aggressive and assertive investigation," Flynn said.
If an officer is found to have conducted an illegal strip search they could spend up to 90 days in jail, and be forced to pay up to $1,000 dollars in fines.
No other officers have been pulled from the streets at this time, despite the additional complaints brought forward. Chief Flynn is not commenting on the course of the investigation, or when it may be finished.
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