Police chief offers '4 simple rules' for residents to not get shot

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Flynn under fire for public comments, spike in crime

Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn says he accepted a "scolding" after he offered four ways residents could prevent themselves from being shot, but he isn't backing down from his statements, either.

Flynn is no stranger to controversy. His rant in response to a reporter asking about him being on his cell phone during a community meeting regarding the police shooting of Dontre Hamilton, went viral in 2014. Flynn got emotional when talking about the shooting death of a 5-year-old girl and the disproportionate amount of black shooting victims in the city.

–Dontre Hamilton death: Officer fired in fatal shooting of unarmed man

But Flynn's latest comments about "four simple rules for not getting shot in Milwaukee," weren't met with universal enthusiasm. He unveiled them at the Mayor's Ceasefire Sabbath event. The rules were:

  1. Don't be part of a crime gang.
  2. Don't be a drug dealer.
  3. Don't carry an illegal gun.
  4. If you're in an argument with a stranger, ask how often they've been arrested. If they've been arrested more often than you've been arrested, concede the point.

Flynn said he was surprised people had taken offense and the rules were meant to show that law-abiding residents had nothing to fear.

–Milwaukee sheriff blasts NAACP, blames fatal shooting on 'father-absent homes'

Eleven city aldermen responded to the rules by releasing a statement saying, "Milwaukee's gun violence is far from a joking matter." The statement was released on the same day a 9-year-old Milwaukee girl who was the victim of a stray bullet was laid to rest.

"I want you to know this is more than just about a soundbite," Alderman Milele Coggs said during a special meeting of the Common Council's public safety committee, which was part of an effort to reach out to both police and residents to make the community safer. "It's about more than just being disturbed by what you said."

While the police chief acknowledged that he could have been more sensitive, he also didn't offer an apology.

–Prosecutor: No charges against white officer who killed Tony Robinson

"I didn't apologize because my motives weren't impure," Flynn said. "I've used this as a communication device with many community groups in many neighborhoods without a complaint. So, I've got a complaint. I won't use that anymore."

RELATED: Murder rates soar in major US cities:

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Police chief offers '4 simple rules' for residents to not get shot
In this July 30, 2015 picture, a member of the Baltimore Police Department removes crime scene tape from a corner where a victim of a shooting was discovered in Baltimore. Murders are spiking again in Baltimore, three months after Freddie Gray's death in police custody sparked riots. This year's monthly bloodshed has twice reached levels unseen in a quarter-century. In May, Baltimore set a 25-year high of 42 recorded killings. After a brief dip in June, the homicide is soaring again. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
In this July 30, 2015 picture, balloons and candles mark a spot where a man was shot earlier in the week, in Baltimore. Murders are spiking again in Baltimore, three months after Freddie Gray's death in police custody sparked riots. This year's monthly bloodshed has twice reached levels unseen in a quarter-century. In May, Baltimore set a 25-year high of 42 recorded killings. After a brief dip in June, the homicide is soaring again. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Police patrol a downtown street Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015, in St. Louis. With the city facing an increase in violent crime, including homicides, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson has asked the Missouri State Highway Patrol to assist policing downtown, a patrol official said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
A Baltimore Police officer follows a man, who screamed "Let me in! I'm going in!" before crossing the yellow tape and walking into the crime scene on the 100 block of Upmanor Road, in Baltimore, where a young boy and a 31-year-old woman were shot and killed, Thursday, May 28, 2015. In the month since Freddie Gray died and the city erupted in civil unrest, Baltimore has seen its murder rate skyrocket. There have been 36 murders in May alone. (AP Photo/Juliet Linderman)
This July 30, 2015 picture shows a blighted home in west Baltimore. Murders are spiking again in Baltimore, three months after Freddie Gray's death in police custody sparked riots. This year's monthly bloodshed has twice reached levels unseen in a quarter-century. In May, Baltimore set a 25-year high of 42 recorded killings. After a brief dip in June, the homicide is soaring again. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Investigators look over a New Orleans Police department vehicle in which one officer was shot and killed while transporting a prisoner in New Orleans, Saturday, June 20, 2015. The New Orleans Police Department said Officer Daryle Holloway was shot while transporting Travis Boys, who managed to get his handcuffed hands from behind his back to the front, grab a firearm and shoot the officer. A manhunt was underway for the 33-year-old Boys, according to Police Chief Michael Harrison. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Police and K-9 search the area where a New Orleans Police officer was shot and killed in his vehicle while transporting a prisoner in New Orleans, Saturday, June 20, 2015. The prisoner remains at large. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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