"We want a chief that we can count on:" Police union holds "no confidence" vote on Chief Flynn

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — The Milwaukee Police Association on Thursday, October 30th took 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.

Votes were cast at Serb Hall all day Thursday. The results will be made public during a press conference Friday.

"90 percent plus is certainly what I am estimating will have cast a ballot, saying they do not have confidence in our current chief. We want a chief that we can count on," Milwaukee Police Association President Michael Crivello said.

The 1,600 members of the Milwaukee Police Association must decide whether they support Chief Flynn following his decision to terminate former Milwaukee Police Officer Christopher Manney following the fatal shooting of 31-year-old Dontre Hamilton six months ago.

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.

"The morale of the department is damaged nearly beyond repair," Milwaukee Police Association President Michael Crivello said.

Crivello says he expects ninety percent of the officers voting will vote "no confidence" against Chief Flynn. The vote is non-binding, meaning Mayor Tom Barrett and the Fire and Police Commission don't have to make any changes, regardless of the results, but a vote of no confidence would send a powerful message to Chief Flynn.

"If the Chief can't understand the importance of quality leadership that the troops can follow then maybe it's time for the Chief to reevaluate himself as to whether or not he's making the proper decisions," Crivello said.

Ahead of Thursday's vote, Chief Flynn said it's Manney's decisions that were wrong.

"He's not a bad man. He decided to do a bad thing. He made the wrong decision, placed himself in a situation where he had to use deadly force, so I understand that, but as I said, we're a profession. We have to carefully scrutinize decisions we make that lead to fatal outcomes. There is a lot of people out there that don't like their boss -- but they don't get to go out there on TV and yell about not liking their boss. It's the nature of our democracy. They can have the chance to voice their displeasure," Chief Flynn said.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett calls the vote a publicity stunt.

"I think it is very political on behalf of the leadership of the Milwaukee Police Association. I continue to have confidence in the men and women -- not only the police chief, but the men and women in the Milwaukee Police Department," Mayor Barrett said.

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.

The no confidence vote comes on the six month anniversary of Dontre Hamilton's death.

CLICK HERE for complete coverage of the Dontre Hamilton case via FOX6Now.com.