At its meeting on Thursday night, December 6, 2012, the City of Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission ("FPC") announced that it would reconsider its decision to reinstate Milwaukee Police Department ("MPD") Officer Richard Schoen, who had been fired for punching a woman in the back seat of a MPD squad car and then dragging her out of the squad car by her hair. During the public comments portion of the FPC meeting, Milwaukee residents expressed their outrage that Officer Schoen could get his job back. Concerned citizens also demanded the removal of the Fire and Police Commissioners, MPD Chief of Police Ed Flynn, and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. The citizen outrage is fueled not just by the incident involving Officer Schoen, but also several other high profile incidents, including the death of Derek Williams in MPD custody back in May 2011. For more information about the FPC meeting and the current problems within the MPD, please see the report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel here.
The civil rights lawyers of Samster, Konkel & Safran, S.C. express our concern over the way the FPC oversees instances of alleged police misconduct in the City of Milwaukee. We represent the three young children of Derek Williams, and we will do our best to ensure that there is justice for Mr. Williams' death. The United States Department of Justice ("DOJ") is currently considering whether to conduct a complete review of the MPD, to see whether there is a pattern and practice of civil rights violations committed by MPD officers. We hope the DOJ conducts the review, so perhaps future instances of police misconduct can be prevented.