The City of Milwaukee hired Attorney Mark L. Thomsen to represent the City
and its Chief of Police in a critical disciplinary hearing of a police
officer involved in an out of department policy pat down search of an
alleged homeless person where the person stopped by the officer was killed.
The case gained national momentum this week after five days of testimony,
when the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission upheld the decision to discharge
the officer. The Commission made a unanimous decision in favor of Thomsen’s
client, Police Chief Edward Flynn, after deliberations following the five
days of public trial proceedings (the hearings were covered by a live
feed so any member of public could view the proceedings). The Commission
determined that Chief Flynn was right in his decision to discharge the
Milwaukee police officer.
The incident occurred nearly one year ago when the officer confronted the
victim who was allegedly sleeping in the park and not suspected of any
crime. At the hearing, the officer alleged that he saw a possible weapon
in the man’s possession and patted him down despite initially reporting
to his fellow Milwaukee officers that he only feared for his safety after
the encounter turned into a tussle. The victim, who had a history of mental
illness, struggled to obtain the officer’s baton. The confrontation
ended when the officer pulled out his gun and killed the man.
While the officer’s use of deadly force wasn’t brought into
question, Chief Flynn fired the officer for initiating the interaction
with an unsanctioned pat-down.
Attorney Thomsen successfully navigated the complex case and secured a
victory for Chief Flynn when the Commission decided to uphold his decision
to discharge the officer. Milwaukee’s Journal Sentinel reported:
“Attorney Mark Thomsen, who was hired by the city to represent Police
Chief Edward Flynn's decision, said the appeal process showed the
department conducted a fair, thorough internal investigation and provides
consistent training designed to prohibit ‘profiling pat-downs.’”
About Mark L. Thomsen
Mark L. Thomsen is a trial attorney, with a primary focus on personal injury
law, and a partner of Cannon & Dunphy S.C., a prominent Wisconsin
law firm. With a strong background in accident litigation and a passion
for helping people, Mark offers caring, aggressive, and effective legal
guidance for his clients.
Mark was admitted to the Wisconsin State Bar in 1987. Since then, he has
cultivated a reputation for success in a broad range of practice areas,
including car and truck accidents, elder abuse and nursing home neglect,
medical malpractice, civil rights, and general negligence. To learn more
visit his professional profile.