By Karen Stokes
Former Milwaukee Police Officer Christopher Manney will not be charged for fatally shooting Dontre Hamilton.
Hamilton 31, a mentally ill, Black man, was shot 14 times this past April in Red Arrow Park.
The announcement was made Monday morning by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm who stated Manney was justified in firing at Hamilton.
“This was a tragic incident for the Hamilton family and the community,” Chisholm said in a statement.
“But based on all the evidence and analysis presented in this report, I came 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.”
An account of the shooting in a report read, “Manney fired his weapon but it did not seem to have any effect on Hamilton, so he continued to fire while walking backwards from Hamilton.
Hamilton fell forward and Manney continued to fire because he perceived Hamilton to still be a threat. He stopped firing when Hamilton was completely on the ground.”
Manney was fired from the Milwaukee Police Department in October for not following policy which led to the shooting.
“I am satisfied that we have done a very thorough, very independent investigation,” said Chisholm.
Nate Hamilton, brother of Dontre said during a press conference Monday afternoon, “We’re not going to cover up injustice with our tears…We deserve justice, justice is our right.” “We need to protect each other,” said Nate Hamilton.
“We need to stop the violence in our communities so we can get rid of the pigs that kill us.”
Following the press conference several protesters proceeded to march through the streets chanting, “Dontre Hamilton and Whose streets? Our streets! Arrest the police.”
The peaceful protestors advanced to through the streets of downtown Milwaukee on the cold rainy day and then to the All Peoples Church, for a private meeting.
Unfortunately, this was the third occurrence in over a month in the United States that a white officer killed a black man and not being charged.
Chris Levy 56, a Milwaukee resident, believes nothing has changed in the city concerning police, “This stinks,” Levy said.
“This is the same old answer we always get in this town when Black men are shot and killed by officers.”
The Hamilton family is looking for justice. According to WUWM, the United States Department of Justice will be reviewing the Dontre Hamilton case.
The review will be conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin and the Civil Rights Division to determine if there is a violation under the federal civil rights law.
Congresswoman Gwen Moore shared her thoughts in a statement that said, “I am deeply disappointed in District Attorney Chisholm’s decision to not press charges against Officer Christopher Manney in the shooting death of Dontre Hamilton.
This decision is just one of many in recent weeks that continue to perpetuate a disheartening notion that there is a significant lapse in accountability for reckless officers and the behavior they employ in our communities.”
“We’re going to stay strong,” Nate Hamilton declared. “We must wake the people up, we must show them injustice does exist.”
“It is paramount that we channel our collective grief and frustration in a constructive manner,” said Congresswoman Moore.
“We must rigorously pursue justice, including changes to police procedure and training regarding the appropriate use of force. This, not violence, will honor Dontre’s memory.”
Photos By Robert A. Bell