As the deaths of Mike Brown and Eric Garner waged on to create a national divide between Americans, a well-known but lesser publicized similar instance was being experienced in the Midwest.
On April 14, Dontre Hamilton, 31, was awakened while sleeping in downtown Milwaukee at 3:30 pm by officer Christopher Manney, a 13-year veteran of the force. A couple of officers had already came and checked on Hamilton, unbeknownst to Manney, and a fight broke out when Hamilton was being patted down.
When Manney swung his baton at Hamilton, his attack was intercepted, prompting Hamilton to struck him in the neck. It was then that Manney took out his firearm and shot Hamilton 14 times, all confirmed by Milwaukee police internal affairs investigation.
The Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reports that 17 witnesses saw Manney “in shock,” “upset” or “distraught” immediately after the shooting but he was still fired from the force in October following an investigation spearheaded by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm.
However on Monday afternoon, Chisholm concluded that Manney would not be charged criminally for the Hamilton killing, much to chagrin of the unarmed man’s family.
“This was a tragic incident for the Hamilton family and for the community,” Chisholm stated in his report. “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.”
So why was he terminated from the police department?
Police Chief Edward Flynn reportedly said Manney failed to follow the department rules in the events leading up to the shooting and his firing had nothing to do with excessive force.
The Journal Sentinel has an extensive timeline of the chain of events that weave through Dontre Hamilton’s back story up to Manney’s dodging of charges for your additional reading.
Photo: Milwaukee Police Department