Flynn defends handling of Darius Simmons case
MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee's police chief is defending how his officers investigated the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy, saying police protocol has to focus on effectiveness over compassion.
Police Chief Ed Flynn told reporters Wednesday that the top priority of a homicide investigator is to get the facts immediately.
"They go by the book and there are times when the book seems harsh," said Flynn on Wednesday.
That can mean keeping grieving family members apart, because police don't want witnesses talking to each other.
Milwaukee police drew criticism after Darius Simmons was shot and killed last month in front of his home, allegedly by his neighbor John Spooner.
The family says police kept the boy's mother in a squad car for two hours rather than let her hold her son or join him at the hospital.
"We've got one chance," said Flynn.
Flynn also addressed rumors that detectives searched and trashed the family's home looking for evidence in the case.
They searched the home as part of the investigation, and detectives took photos.
"They clearly show nobody's house was trashed," said Flynn.
Even national groups like Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Push coalition have criticized the MPD's handling of the case.
Flynn talked to family representatives Tuesday, after the family declined to speak to him.
"To have an opportunity to explain to them why is we conduct homicide investigations a certain way.," explained Flynn.
Flynn says the investigators' main concern is getting a conviction, and it's unfortunate that some investigative techniques seem uncompassionate.