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Milwaukee Cops Shot at During Drug Raid

Milwaukee police arrested five people Thursday afternoon after officers came under fire during a drug raid in a residence on the 4700 block of N. 30th St., Chief Edward Flynn said in a news conference at the scene.

No injuries were reported and the property remains under investigation, Flynn said. Authorities believe a drug and firearm-trafficking ring was operating out of the lower unit.

One of the suspects was arrested for firing at the officers, and the other four were taken into custody in relation to the drug operation.

In the wake of the fatal shooting Aug. 9 of teenager Michael Brown at the hands of police in Ferguson, Mo., and at a moment in which daily clashes are occurring in that city between protesters and heavily armed police, Flynn emphasized the fact that Milwaukee officers did not shoot during Thursday's raid.

"I think this is an excellent reminder to all of us, not just of officers' courage in a neighborhood plagued with violence, but also of their restraint," Flynn said.

He said that Milwaukee police, along with officers from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the county High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, were serving a high-hazard search warrant at the N. 30th St. residence that police say has ties to a complex drug network that they have been investigating for months.

When officers ignited a flashbang to gain entry into the residence about 1 p.m., a person inside fired at the officers through the front window.

The house was secured by two containment teams, one in the front and one in the back. They took the five suspects into custody and seized one firearm. A more thorough investigation is ongoing, Flynn said.

Police and detectives from the drug task force taped off the 4700 block of N. 30th St. Thursday afternoon to interview neighbors and collect evidence. Drug-sniffing dogs roamed nearby yards.

Arthur Ray, who lives on N. 31st St. across the alley from the raided house, said police had knocked on his door to make sure he was safe. Ray said he was glad that Flynn said there were no injuries and no shots fired by police.

"'Bout time," Ray said. "Police officers have a tough job, and when they show restraint, I applaud that."

Other neighborhood residents expressed skepticism at the chief's remarks.

"If they're really all into restraint, how did that guy get killed at Red Arrow Park?" said Tony Jones, referring to the fatal shooting of Dontre Hamilton, who was shot and killed by a Milwaukee police officer April 30. The man's family has said he had a history of mental illness but was not violent, and that he was shot 15 times.

Copyright 2014 - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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