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Milwaukee Police Shooting Determination Gains National Momentum

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 about Mark, visit his professional profile.

Categories: Firm News