Vote of no confidence to be held on Chief Flynn, and it's something that has happened here before

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Milwaukee Police Association on Thursday, October 30th will take a "no confidence" vote on Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn. A vote of no confidence would indicate the Milwaukee Police Association doesn't feel Chief Flynn is fit to continue to hold his position within the department. The last no confidence vote for a police chief, organized by the Milwaukee police union occurred 23 years ago -- so how much has changed since then?

1,600 members of the Milwaukee Police Association will take the no confidence vote. It is not binding, but the Milwaukee Police Association president says it sends a very strong message.

“The membership has mandated it. It’s not something that we take lightly. The membership’s morale has been at a breaking point for a very long time,” Milwaukee Police Association President Michael Crivello said last week.

The no confidence vote comes after Chief Flynn fired Milwaukee Police Officer Christopher Manney -- the officer who shot and killed 31-year-old Dontre Hamilton in Red Arrow Park in April. The vote will come on the day that marks six months since this shooting.

In firing Manney, Chief Flynn said his reason for doing so wasn’t Manney’s deadly use of force, but rather, the events leading up to it.

Chief Flynn said he has reviewed every aspect of this incident, and has found that Manney violated the values of the Milwaukee Police Department in his handling of Dontre Hamilton. Chief Flynn said Officer Manney showed no malice in his actions on that April day, but he says Manney made errors in judgement. Chief Flynn said when Manney arrived at the scene he should have immediately assessed Hamilton as an “emotionally disturbed person” and treated him as such — saying Manney’s unwarranted, out-of-policy pat down of Hamilton escalated the situation — leading to the necessary use of deadly force.

Manney has filed an appeal of his termination with the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission.

On Thursday, those who condemn Chief Flynn's firing of Manney will rally at Serb Hall and then take their no confidence vote.

The last no confidence vote involving the Milwaukee Police Department occurred in 1991, when the police union held a vote on Chief Philip Arreola.

"Again, it has no standing and it will not affect my dedication and zeal to serve this city and department," Chief Arreola said at the time.

At issue back then was two officers involved in handing over a teenage boy who had been running through the street back to an adult. That adult was serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who killed the boy.

Chief Arreola fired the officers, and later, members of the police union voted overwhelmingly against him in a no confidence vote.

The officers involved in this case appealed their firings and a judge ruled in their favor -- allowing them to be reinstated.

In 2002, Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donovan asked the Milwaukee Common Council to have a no confidence vote on Milwaukee Police Chief Arthur Jones over Donovan's belief that Jones was not open to working on crime problems in the community. That vote never happened.

On October 16th, 2014, Alderman Donovan stood with police union officials in support of Christopher Manney. Alderman Donovan says he would vote "no confidence" in Chief Flynn this time around.

"It's difficult to win a war when the soldiers don't have confidence in the general," Alderman Donovan said.

With the no confidence vote on Chief Flynn scheduled for Thursday, the final chapter in the case involving the firing of Christopher Manney hasn't yet been written, but some say it seems as if history may be repeating itself.

The Milwaukee Police Association has planned a press conference for 11:00 a.m. on Friday, October 31st to reveal the results of the no confidence vote.

CLICK HERE for complete coverage of the Dontre Hamilton case via