Milwaukee’s Criminal Police Chief and Civilian Disarmament

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In August of last year, Brad Krause of West Allis, Wisconsin was planting a tree in his own backyard when he was ambushed by police.

Krause’s next-door neighbor, the type of timorous busy-body upon whom the Homeland Security State’s snitching apparatus depends, had called the police to complain that Krause was wearing a sidearm. Krause is a law-abiding and inoffensive person, but the mere sight of a private citizen carrying a gun made his neighbor suspicious.

So the cops arrived, Krause was disarmed, and — there being no law in Wisconsin against the open carrying of a handgun — Krauss was charged with “disorderly conduct.” That spurious charge was eventually dismissed. But the police, who didn’t provide Krause with a receipt for his gun, refused to return it to him.
On April 20, Wisconsin state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issued a memorandum intended to clarify whether “a person has the right to openly carry a firearm” without being subject to a charge of disorderly conduct.

While Wisconsin state law forbids citizens to exercise their right to carry concealed weapons, there is no statute banning them from carrying them openly, a fact grudgingly admitted in Van Hollen’s memorandum: “The Department believes that mere open carry of a firearm, absent additional facts and circumstances, should not result in a disorderly conduct charge.”

That ruling prompted a remarkably arrogant response from Milwaukee police Chief Edward Flynn: “My message to my troops is if you see anybody carrying a gun on the streets of Milwaukee, we’ll put them on the ground, take the gun away and then decide whether you have a right to carry it.” (Emphasis added.)

Note well how Flynn referred to his police personnel as “my troops,” an ironically appropriate designation in light of the fact that he clearly considers himself to be the dictator of a military occupation force, rather than the director of a civilian police agency.

Flynn invokes the fact that Milwaukee has witnessed nearly 200 homicides over the past two years as justification for the defiant orders given to “his troops.”

That fact underscores the need for citizens to retain the ability to defend themselves against lawless assaults immediately, rather than waiting for the police to arrive — by which time they have little left to do other than draw chalk outlines and string up crime scene tape.

Chief Flynn, it should be noted, has mingled with the elite. Before being tapped to head the scandal-plagued Milwaukee PD in January 2008, he had been police commissioner in Springfield, Massachusetts and served stints as Chief of Police in Braintree and Chelsea, as well as Arlington, Virginia. He also served as Mitt Romney’s Homeland Security adviser.

Flynn is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, the National Executive Institute, and a former fellow at the Harvard School of Government. He sits on the Executive Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Board of Directors of the Council of State Governments Justice Center.

Clearly, Flynn is no marginal figure, a fact that makes his perspective on civilian disarmament and militarization of law enforcement a matter of national concern.

2:02 pm on April 24, 2009
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