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Fire & Police Commission report details use of force by Milwaukee Police

A new report details use of force in 2014 by Milwaukee Police Officers.  The report was compiled by the Milwaukee Fire & Police commission.  

The report says use of force incidents are down about 22 percent from 2013, with 700 incidents in 2014.  30 of those involved a gun, but just eight of those 30 involved the gun being used on a person.  The other 22 involved dogs.

It must be noted that use of force covers a broad range including firearms, tasers, batons, chemical spray, bodily force, and other methods. Not just firearms.

It says two people were killed by officers in 2014.  The report summarized that some demographic statistics too.  The use of force incidents typically involved a white police officer in their mid-30s with about nine years experience. The officer was usually not injured.  The subject was usually a black man with a previous criminal record who was not armed with a weapon.  The person usually resisted arrest and sustained minor injuries.  An overwhelming majority of these incidents used bodily force only - which involved focused strikes - not a gun.  Bodily force is the most common use of force by MPD.

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn says his officers do their best to avoid using deadly force.

"Our officers overwhelmingly demonstrate restraint in the use of deadly force, time after time after time we have circumstances in which officers are lawfully entitled to use deadly force but do not," Flynn said.  "Obviously we're in a very challenging circumstance right now as a profession and every officer knows their actions taken to protect their lives or the lives of others will be very closely scrutinized and in some quarters always suspect.  They certainly adhere to their training last night. They were cautious, they were restrained, they were tactically effective, but it's the nature of police work that it turns on a dime from circumstances like that were clearly combat situations and yet also end up finding themselves in counseling situations and situations in which their verbal skills or negotiation skills are called upon. For many reasons it's a very challenging profession."

Here's the full report: 

http://city.milwaukee.gov/ImageLibrary/Groups/cityFPC/Reports/151022_2014_Use_of_Force_Report.pdf

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