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Ex-officer acquitted of abusing suspect won’t get job back

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A former Milwaukee police detective who was acquitted in the 2013 beating of a handcuffed suspect will not get his job back, the Fire and Police Commission decided.

After nearly three full days of testimony, the commission on Friday upheld Police Chief Edward Flynn’s firing of Rodolfo Gomez Jr., the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

In February, a jury acquitted Gomez, 49, of charges of misconduct in public office and abuse of a prisoner.

Gomez was charged after video showed him punching a man during an August 2013 interview at police headquarters. Gomez was fired from the department.

Speaking on Flynn’s behalf, Assistant Police Chief Kurt Leibold said Gomez’s actions hurt relations between the police and the community and did not conform to the department’s code of conduct.

“It was determined (his) actions that day in the interrogation room did not help society at all,” Leibold said.

On Friday, Gomez defended himself on the stand, saying he had an exemplary record. Gomez also said he decided in a split second to use force because he thought he was in danger.

“There was no ill intent on my part,” he said. “My fear caused me to react. Nothing else.”

His attorney, Brendan Matthews, presented letters from Flynn written in 2011 that highlighted Gomez’s good work on the force.

Gomez can now appeal his firing to Milwaukee County Circuit Court. His attorney said he must review the commission’s written decision before deciding whether to appeal.

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