MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The family of Dontre Hamilton gathered at Red Arrow Park in downtown Milwaukee on Friday morning, May 2nd.
Hamilton, who has a history of mental illness, was shot and killed by a Milwaukee police officer after he grabbed the officer's baton and began beating the officer with it.
It was an emotional morning for Dontre Hamilton's mother and older brother -- as they rallied. The goal for them -- to make the community more aware that more needs to be done to help those with mental illness.
Surrounded by family and friends, Hamilton's mother grieved at the Red Arrow statue where her son was shot and killed.
Hamilton's brother tells FOX6 News, Dontre was a paranoid schizophrenic who was afraid to sleep at night. That's why he may have been tired and was lying down on the concrete at the park.
Hamilton had been on treatment for his mental illness with inoculations. But a family member says he had difficulty getting those shots recently. He family says the system needs to be better.
"We're not trying to point the finger at the police department. We're not trying to point the finger at anyone," said Nathaniel Hamilton. "We want answers. We want the truth, and I think we deserve it. And every other family out there, hang in there. Fight for your family members. For your loved ones that's sick. Don't give up on them. Don't turn your back on them. Don't kick them out. Love your family."
"Right now, all I want to do is to give somebody else's child, somebody else's mother, somebody else's brother, the opportunity to get the help they need when they need it, not be pushed aside," said Maria Hamilton.
Dontre Hamilton's family says he did have a lot of family who cared about him; cared for him. He was not homeless -- but was just not able to get enough help from the mental health system.
The Hamilton family planned to gather at 8 p.m. Friday for a 31-minute vigil -- marking the 31 years Dontre was alive.
The family will wait until the police investigation is complete before making any decision as to how they feel about the actions of the police officer.