Milwaukee police chief defends handling of teen’s death

Investigators seek conviction

Milwaukee’s police chief is defending how his officers investigated the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy, saying police protocol has to focus on effectiveness over compassion.

Police Chief Ed Flynn told reporters on Wednesday that the top priority of a homicide investigator is to get the facts immediately. That can mean keeping grieving family members apart, because police don’t want witnesses talking to each other.

Milwaukee police drew criticism after Darius Simmons was shot and killed last month in front of his home. The family says police kept the boy’s mother in a squad car for two hours rather than let her hold her son or join him at the hospital.

Flynn said the investigators’ main concern is getting a conviction, and it’s unfortunate that some investigative techniques seem uncompassionate.