No charges are being filed against the former Milwaukee police officer who shot and killed Dontre Hamilton, 31. The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office made the announcement Monday.
Hamilton, a black man who had a history of mental illness, was shot 14 times during an incident with police, after a local Starbucks called them about a homeless man sleeping in Red Arrow Park.
USA Today reports that the April 30 shooting of Hamilton has spurred protests around Milwaukee. One over the weekend resulted in I-43 being shut down and numerous protestors arrested.
District Attorney John Chisholm released the following statement.
“This was a tragic incident for the Hamilton family and for the community. But, 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.”
This decision comes on the heels of grand jury hearings resulting in no indictments of officers for the shootings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York.
Friction between white police officers and African Americans is at an all-time high, and this latest development is likely to add more to it.
Dontre Hamilton’s family released a statement that their attorney is handling. The family is “extremely disappointed” with the decision, and say the case “cries out for justice, criminal charges against Christopher Manney, and accountability to Dontre Hamilton’s family.”
The ACLU of Wisconsin is also appalled at the decision over not charging former Milwaukee Officer Christopher Manney with anything for shooting Dontre Hamilton.
“If Officer Christopher Manney did not violate the law, then is anyone legally responsible for Mr. Hamilton’s death? Does the criminal law protect individuals like Mr. Hamilton from deadly force exercised by police officers? Are police officers above the law?”
The Inquisitr wrote about the details involved in the shooting, and can be read in this article. Manney claimed Hamilton was still a threat when the first few shots he fired didn’t seem to stop him from trying to attack him.
Chisholm revealed that Emanuel Kapelsohn, “an outside expert” on use of force by police, concluded that Manney’s decision to fire his gun was in accordance with his training.
“The Dontre Hamilton incident is quite unusual in that P.O. Manney appears to have tried every level of force on the Force Option Continuum before resorting to deadly force.”
When Police Chief Edward Flynn fired Manney in October, it was known that Hamilton was mentally ill, but the officer “ignored department policy and treated him as a criminal by frisking him.”
The Milwaukee Police Association views Flynn’s decision as politically motivated. Manney is fighting his dismissal.
According to the report, Gov. Scott Walker has put Wisconsin National Guard troops on standby in the event protests get out of hand in Milwaukee. He told reporters that he doesn’t anticipate violence, but wants to be cautious.
According to the Journal Sentinel, the full investigative report into the Donte Hamilton shooting by Christopher Manney will be released Monday by the state Department of Justice.
One of the attorneys representing the Hamiltons is asking for a federal investigation to determine if federal charges should be filed against Manney.
[Image via Mashable]