Chief Flynn chastised media coverage of St. Patrick's Day You Tube fight video

Chief Flynn chastised media coverage of St. Patrick's Day You Tube fight video

By Charles Benson. CREATED Mar 19, 2012

MILWAUKEE- Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn says his department promised and delivered a safe St. Patrick's Day celebration in downtown Milwaukee despite problems with large crowds.

Chief Flynn was responding to a You Tube video that caught a fist fight on camera outside one of the bars on Water Street.

"It doesn't represent behavior on the average Saturday night and on an extremely crowded night when there were more than 25,000 people in a tightly controlled area, it wasn't representative of the behavior that night either," said Flynn.

Saturday seemed to be the perfect storm for potential problems in downtown Milwaukee. It was a warm summer like night with temperatures hitting highs of 76 and thousands of people in a party mood for St. Patrick's Day.

Police estimate the crowd on Water Street at 25,000 people or so shortly after midnight -- and they asked bars to voluntarily shutdown. It was around that time a fight broke out on Water Street and officers responded quickly.

More than 100 officers were in place to respond to any problems at all the downtown events. Chief Flynn called the fight a non-news story.

"We promised a safe event we delivered a safe event," said Flynn.

Flynn says there were nine disorderly conduct arrests that night, not just on Water Street, but in the entire downtown area.  So if everything was going so well, why ask bars to close down early?

"We did that because of the crowd situation," said Flynn
"We had a very very large crowd and we wanted to make sure that crowd did not create any issues on its own," said Flynn.

BarNone owner Amy Bladow credits police for making the right call.

"It was unfortunate how it ended up with fighting, but the cops did a great job and I think it was a successful day," said Bladow.


Charles Benson

Charles Benson

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Charles Benson is one of the most reliable, trusted and experienced reporters in southeast Wisconsin. If there's a big story going on, Charles is usually there leading the way.