Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Milwaukee Police Officer Schoen Fired By FPC After Public Pressure Succeeds

Richard Schoen and Jeanine Tracy

Former Milwaukee Police Officer Schoen fired after being reinstated and suspended by the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 12, 2012

Milwaukee, WI - On Tuesday, the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission (FPC) unanimously reversed its decision to suspend Police Officer Richard Schoen after reviewing its controversial decision to reinstate Schoen after being terminated by Police Chief Edward Flynn on May 2, for savagely beating Jeanine Tracy while handcuffed inside a squad car last year and dragging her by her hair. The FPC fired Schoen.
Last week, people protested the FPC when it met once again after deciding to reinstate Officer Schoen, but canceled the meeting until Tuesday to review its decision to reinstate Schoen and suspend him for 60 days for beating Tracy.
Police Chief Flynn and Mayor Tom Barrett were disappointed about the FPC's decision to reinstate Officer Schoen. Flynn has been under fire for his handling of incidents by Milwaukee Police officers and the department. Flynn was previously accused of allowing the department to downplay and report crimes statistics showing low crime when in fact some crimes were classified as minor or not reported as serious crimes. 
The FPC also held a review of Chief Flynn's performance on his second term as chief. Members of the community had been protesting for several months and calling for Chief Flynn to be fired and/or demanding his resignation. Flynn confirmed that he won't resign. He is also accused of failing to control officer actions (alleged abuses) while patrolling and detaining black or Hispanic residents in minority neighborhoods.
Recently four officers were charged for conducting illegal field strip searches that included cavity searches. Most of the victims were Afro-American suspected of possessing and concealing drugs.
The FPC has at least overturned four officer termination requests by Chief Flynn and a current public campaign has been launched by some residents calling for the FPC members to resign, which could have led to the current decision by the FPC to reverse its decision. Each commission member is appointed for five years (overlapping) by the mayor every year and earns $6,600 a year.
On Tuesday, Tracy during a press conference expressed that justice has been served by terminating Schoen, but is cautious of how other officers will react to his firing.
Schoen has an option to appeal the FPC's decision.

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