- Associated Press - Monday, December 22, 2014
Ex-officer not charged in fatal Milwaukee shooting

MILWAUKEE (AP) - A white Milwaukee police officer fired after fatally shooting a mentally ill black man in April won’t face criminal charges, the county’s top prosecutor said Monday, while the U.S. attorney said hours later that there will be a federal investigation of the case.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm said Christopher Manney won’t be charged because he shot Dontre Hamilton in self-defense. Manney is at least the third white police officer to avoid charges in the past month after a confrontation that led to a black man’s death.

“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 said in a statement.

After waiting eight months for the decision, Hamilton’s family reacted with disappointment and anger. At an emotional news conference on the steps of the federal courthouse, family attorneys said they had called for a federal investigation. They also urged that protests be peaceful “so as not to dishonor Dontre’s name and the Hamilton family name.”

But Hamilton’s brother Nate spoke bitterly, saying the family had “cried too long” and “we don’t have to be the voice of reason.”

“We need to take our communities back. We need to protect each other. We need to stop the violence in our communities so we can get rid of these pigs that kill us,” he said to shouts and applause. “Because that’s what they are. They feed, they feed off of us. And we can’t let them do that no more.”

His remarks came just two days after two New York City police officers were ambushed in their patrol car. Police said that attack was carried out by a man who posted online about putting “wings on pigs.”


Chief: Right decision not to charge officer in Hamilton case

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn says a decision not to charge a white police officer in the shooting of a black man appears “pretty firmly grounded” in law.

District Attorney John Chisholm announced Monday that he would not charge former Officer Christopher Manney in the April shooting death of 31-year-old Dontre Hamilton. Chisholm said Manney was justified in using deadly force after the men fought and Hamilton got Manney’s baton.

Flynn fired Manney in October, saying the officer acted improperly by trying to frisk Hamilton during a welfare check.

Flynn said there’s no inconsistency in Manney being fired but not charged. He says Manney wasn’t fired for using force - he was fired for getting himself into a situation that needed it.

Manney’s attorney didn’t return a call for comment.


DOJ to review Milwaukee police shooting

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Federal officials say they’ll review the shooting of a black man by a white police officer in Milwaukee for a possible civil rights violation.

Dontre Hamilton, a 31-year-old man whose family said he was mentally ill, was shot to death last April in a downtown park after he struggled with Officer Christopher Manney. The Milwaukee County prosecutor announced Monday that Manney’s use of force was justified self-defense, and he wouldn’t be charged in the case.

Hamilton’s family immediately requested a federal review. The U.S. attorney for Milwaukee announced just a few hours later that the Department of Justice would do so.

Manny was fired in October. Chief Edward Flynn said he violated procedure by trying to frisk Hamilton on a simple welfare check.


Excerpts from report on Milwaukee park shooting

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm announced Monday he would not bring charges against former police Officer Christopher Manney over the April 30 shooting of Dontre Hamilton. Some excerpts from Chisholm’s report and investigative materials released with the decision:


Manney is heard calling in on his police radio right after the confrontation, breathless: “Guy started beating me, started beating me, my baton, was going to hit me in the head with my own baton, shots fired. Starbucks, Starbucks, help right now. Get me medical, too, he’s going to need medical, shots, multiple times in the chest, black male he’s about 20.” Later, Manney calls in again: “I don’t even know if I was hit, it was close combat. I need an officer to help me here too.”


A medical examiner’s report found Hamilton suffered 21 gunshot wounds - 15 entry wounds and six exit wounds. The examiner couldn’t determine the order in which the wounds occurred. The report also said there was “no conclusive evidence that any of the rounds were discharged while Hamilton was in a prone position.” Hamilton’s family had previously released much of the autopsy results, with an attorney highlighting the downward trajectory of some shots and suggesting they showed that Manney was standing above Hamilton.

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