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1253, 19 Jul 15

Dealers Adjust Tactics to Take Advantage of Police Policies

Thugs lack morals, but they are not all stupid.

The gangs are selling heroin and cocaine from cars, shifting dealing away from drug houses and sales on foot or bicycle and creating rolling drug operations.

They heavily tint their car windows, often to a degree that is prohibited under city ordinance. The tint is enough for police to pull over the cars, but if the driver flees, under department policy, officers cannot give chase unless they have evidence an occupant has committed a violent crime or is a threat to the safety of others. And the tint often prevents police from seeing what is going on in the car and gathering the evidence they would need to give chase.

In one case, a BMA dealer who taunted police and fled in March later shot a man in a gas station, according to a criminal complaint.

The dealers build their drug-buying clientele using business cards that advertise bogus businesses, such as a 24-hour towing operation or car repair outfit. They even supply needles for heroin addicts.


A policy change five years ago requires officers to have probable cause that someone in a car is committing a violent felony or is “a clear and immediate threat to the safety of others” before pursuing them.

The policy does not allow pursuits “solely for traffic infractions” or simply because a driver refuses to stop. The policy change came after four people were killed by drivers fleeing police between Dec. 31, 2009, and March 1, 2010. Three of the deaths occurred over two days.

“The suspects are educated on the rules and policies of the Milwaukee Police Department as it relates to vehicle pursuits,” the affidavit says.

One defendant, Darrow Bonner, told police he was involved in three to four “high speeds” every day he was on the street dealing. Bonner, who came from Chicago to sell drugs in Milwaukee, said he knows that police will chase a short distance and then stop if the dealers drive fast enough, according to a criminal complaint charging him with possession of a firearm.

Under Police Chief Flynn, Mayor Barrett, and District Attorney Chisholm, violent crime is exploding in Milwaukee thanks to policies like the “no high-speed pursuit” policy. Will anyone ever be held accountable for bad leadership in Milwaukee?


1253, 19 July 2015


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