A video of an emotional Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn decrying community activists on the night a 5-year-old girl was shot in her home is being drawn into a social media argument about crime and race with some describing Flynn as a "hero cop" calling out black community leaders and others blasting that characterization.
The recording garnered nearly 600,000 views Wednesday on YouTube and hundreds of thousands since as bloggers tied the racial disparities described by Flynn to the race-related tensions revealed by the August police shooting in Ferguson, Mo.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Ashley Luthern recorded the video earlier this month at the first meeting of a police oversight panel after Flynn fired police officer Christopher Manney, who shot and killed Dontre Hamilton in April. The night of the meeting, a 5-year-old girl was shot and killed in a Milwaukee house while sitting on her grandfather's lap.
At one point during the meeting, members of the audience criticized Flynn for looking at his phone. Flynn said he was trying to keep up with developments in the girl's shooting and later took on those critics in a press conference recorded by Luthern.