Another family mourns the loss of a child as another police officer walks away with no charge.
District Attorney John Chisholm said former Milwaukee police officer Christopher Manney would not be charged in the shooting of Dontre Hamilton. On April 30, Manney shot Hamilton, who was unarmed, 14 times during an incident at Red Arrow Park in downtown Milwaukee.
In a report released to the public, Chisholm wrote,
Based on all the evidence and analysis presented in this report, I come to the conclusion that Officer Manney’s use of force in this incident was justified self-defense and that defense cannot be reasonably overcome to establish a basis to charge Officer Manney with a crime.”
Chisholm’s claimed self-defense but the details surrounding Hamilton’s death are still unclear.
Gawker spells out the details of the shooting:
On April 30, two officers were dispatched to Red Arrow Park where Hamilton was sleeping. The initial complaint, which was called in by an employee at a nearby Starbucks, was handled without any physical confrontation. Ten minutes later—around 1:52 p.m.—the same officers are again dispatched to check on Hamilton, and handle the call without dispute. The two officers decided Hamilton had done nothing wrong or illegal.
Manney later responded to a desk call—not knowing two officers had already spoken to Hamilton—and arrived at the park, where he found Hamilton sleeping. According to the report, an altercation ensued as Manney attempted to perform a routine pat-down. Then, according to MPD Internal Affairs, “Manney tried to use his baton to subdue Hamilton, but Hamilton got control of it and swung it at Manney, hitting him on the side of the neck. Manney then shot Hamilton repeatedly.”
In the days and weeks after the fatal shooting, the department was quick to note Hamilton’s history of mental illness; but his family claimed otherwise, saying he received treatment and was never physically violent with those around him.